poetry by Jane Hicks
The Wolf Moon came up full on Epiphany.
In the dulling day, she smiled
in the kitchen window, not a possible angle
except in cold solstice before she begins to inch
further and further southward across the ridge.
For seventy years that fullness still
brings an “O,” exhalation, then a sigh.
It marked the coming of monthly flow,
quickenings, ebbing, girl to crone,
flood to drought.
My mothers walked under that same moon –
on the moors, the shore, a London street
before lights ruined the sky. Did the one
in Barbados look east toward home or admire
the moon face on the ocean? The same moon
shone on russet hair of the one who loved
too many for convention, used the moon
to light a path to her trysting place,
followed forest animals in their season
to heed moon call.
When the moon showed one mother the signs
to plant, harvest, and expect the call to midwife,
did she gaze on the moon face in wonder
or as a mere marker of days? I dream-remember
a hilltop, quilts, and a child, her mouth an “O”
of delight, who tiptoed, reached, and cried
for the pink moon, sailed out of reach.
I carry their lines, their learning, their wants,
memories, perhaps. So many sighs,
so many seasons, towed aloft
by a cold epiphany moon.
Jane Hicks was born and raised in upper East Tennessee near the Virginia state line. A graduate of Emory & Henry College, she taught for thirty years in Sullivan County, Tennessee schools. Her poetry collections are Blood & Bone Remember (Jesse Stuart Foundation, 2004) and Driving with the Dead (University Press of Kentucky, 2014), Her new collection, The Safety of Small Things, will be released in early 2024 (UP of KY). Her poems have appeared widely in regional journals such as Still: The Journal, Appalachian Review, Appalachian Places, and Shenandoah.