MOON DANCE: A Love Story

Posted: May 23, 2018 in World On The Edge

A new moon is born every 27 days. During that period the moon progresses through certain stages or phases. Each phase has its on set of unique viewing characteristics, so that we on Earth see each phase as being different from another. We have phases in our lives too–most obvious is from youth to old age. But there are other phases we go through, and may even be going through now. From revenge to reconciliation. From hopelessness to hope. From loneliness to friendship. From greediness to generosity. And from loathing to loving.

“Moon Dance: A Love Story,” is the eighth story in my collection, Birds of a Feather. It has won several awards and is reprinted in two anthologies.

The piece is both a present day and an historical story about lasting love and the necessity of forgiveness.

Here are the first paragraphs:

Every night, when she makes her rounds, she finds us watching the Georgia moon. We lay together in a single bed to catch the first inkling of its light and nightly mark its swell from miniscule to magnificent. We tell her of its essence, that it is something much bigger and brighter than itself. She gives us a condescending, “Uh huh, Shugah;” then leans over to tuck the white sheet around our thighs, and brush a dark hand across our foreheads. She smells of honey.

In the darkness, we point out to her the way the moon takes center stage to a sparkle of dancing stars, how it soon becomes distorted, fades and passes, leaving only a promise of return. We tell her that return is certain—our covenant between nothing and everything, between life and death. But she only wrinkles her sweet, black face and smiles, a tall silhouette against the silver light from the window.

“Night, night, Miz Anna,” she says.

I expect her to give us a kiss goodnight, but instead she gives us a pill for pain. On her way out, she does not close the window. She does not shut our door. We do not allow her to do that, because we will not be fastened here forever.

The artificial light from the hall draws a triangular shape on the linoleum, pierces the soft splash of moonlight that spreads downward from the foot of our bed. The illumination of the hall is soon extinguished by a human hand, but we lie in a radiance the human hand does not control. In the night, we speak of the covenant, the promise in death. I see its purpose. Death is passage. Death is close.

One hundred and six years old, both of us, we’ve held many who passed before us, held them in our arms as they took a last breath—parents, children, grandchildren, others we loved. I tell Will, my beloved husband, that God’s desires are greater than our own. He accepts the truth in that. Then we speak of our daughter, our first child.

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