“Supermoon” by Abby E. Murray

Abby E. Murray


It doesn’t arrive so much as continue
to exist, this blue supermoon
exactly who she was just days before.
When she’s this bright though, I tell my daughter,
and this close, we give her another name, that’s all.
I want to add that human kindness
is like this: never really changing,
never gone. This week, she asked me
if it was worth it, growing up in a cruel world—
that’s the name she gave it, the name it earned. Cruel.
So we sat outside at night to wait
for something spectacular to prove itself.
We craned our necks like tourists in a cathedral,
expecting to see the tidy, timely face of God,
and all we got was a persuasion of clouds
so thick and cold we had to guess
where the moon might be glowing.
We had to point where the gloom was thinnest
and say there! as if it was only as extraordinary
as it was out of sight—for us, for now—
but it was happening, it was true,
for thousands of years in a row.

from Poets Respond
September 3, 2023


Abby E. Murray: “My nine-year-old recently asked me point-blank if it was worth it to grow up in “such a cruel world” and I really didn’t know how to answer. Her point was that the violence and grief of living today might be beyond overwhelming, but I couldn’t help also noting the profound impact of kindness on the same world. And who are we to say with certainty that a deeply humane commitment to one another isn’t as old as our willingness to destroy? Kindness may be nearby all the time, even if we can’t see it; Wednesday’s blue supermoon was the perfect vehicle for me to finally try answering my daughter’s question about all the energy it takes to keep going right now.” (web)

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