Waking on My Birthday (After Liu Yong)

By George Freek

A crescent moon and cloud in the night sky.

The moon is a crooked thumbnail,
clawing through a hollow sky.
I stare at the stars,
obdurate as quartz or lead
like the mattress of my bed.
The moon is hidden by
the withering leaves of a tree.
Sympathy is rare.
Compassion is a mystery.
I feel like the crumbling ruins
of a marker in a cemetery
to be turning sixty-three,
but as the sun slowly rises
I face it resolutely,
and can still make for myself
a pot of soothing tea.

Category: Featured, Poetry