Walking to the Moon by Sandra Skouson

After breakfast the moon hangs
almost near enough to touch.
I do not resist.  Cutting across the lawn
I walk west past the row
of apple trees, climb the log fence,
crush soggy leaves deeper
into the pasture grass, duck under
the next fence.  From here on
I choose my way carefully through sagebrush,
scuff my shoes against yellow rocks
until the edge of the canyon stops me.

The morning the tree burned,
nothing stopped me.
I followed its shining until
I touched the trunk
and let the branches spill
their sparks, bright cushions,
catkins, clustered flowers
of fire, in my hair.

Behind me someone starts a car.
But for the moon I would go back,
kiss him good-bye, begin my chores.
Instead, half crouching, I grab
the gray branch of fallen juniper
and inch my way into the canyon.


Sandra Skouson, poet and teacher, grew up on a farm in Idaho just west of the Tetons.  As an adult she has lived in many places, Japan, German, Massachusetts, Virginia, California and Arizona.  Currently she writes from Monticello, Utah, in the heart of the four corners area.

*Competition entry*

5 thoughts on “Walking to the Moon by Sandra Skouson”

  1. I love the mysticism of the moon, drawing you diwn into the canyon…it is at once romantic and slightly eerie, and a refreshing idea to this young mother :)

  2. Beautiful, vibrant images and language! Love the tone, incredibly suspenseful, especially the middle stanza. I can definitely relate to this poem, as I have often ‘scuff’ my shoes venturing to see something in nature. Wonderful writing!

  3. Yup. Got to have those moments to yourself. I like the phrase “makes himself alone” in the next poem for that same idea.

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