I HOPED TOO SOON

It seemed when I first went out to see the moon
that its path to the west clear. I saw no clouds
as it climbed the eastern sky. I hoped too soon.
The clarity dissolved so swiftly, for a distant shroud
as if on a mission to obstruct the lunar light
began its task. At first some stars disappeared
that lay in its path. But the moon became out of sight
almost before I could grasp it. The eclipse seemed weird.

The darkness that came seemed to be a hovering darkness —
it had a presence that I began to feel.
It was so strange — this evening’s sudden starkness.
No other way to say it — it was surreal.

Since then I hesitate when I see a sky
without a cloud at night — and I know why.

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