'a yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently
came to keep them company
and listen to their talk.'
— Kenneth Grahame
That night you swaddled in my arms,
the dahlias were in their wilt
— blotches of yellow and brown
took the laterals, their florets giving way to pods.
The Cyprus pines formed a phalanx on the fence line
and above it all, Orion craned his xiphos to the moon
like the eclipse of your arm across galaxies.
Summer had fallen on Icarian wings
and the moon stole your heart,
the way the darting of rainbow
gumboots between daffodils snatched mine.
You held a tooth marked harmonica against my neck,
lion printed; the balsa wood stained with breastmilk
and memories of you crawling from play mats.
The evening breast-plated our chests
and in your temerity
you sang Selene in scordato,
skirling across the scale. I hummed with you,
my Pleiadean player
and conductor of celestial company.
This poem was awarded First Place (Teacher) for Poetry Object 2019
'This poem is both simple and complex and very intriguing. The imagery is vivid and the poet feels so present, stamping their words into every second you are with them. “You held a tooth marked harmonica against my neck” is such an exciting line; it has so much glorious detail. Moments like that are nicely spaced through the whole piece. I also appreciated the way the lines are layered then arranged on the page like flowers on a pin board.'
~ Emilie Zoey Baker, Judge, Poetry Object 2019