Sunday, September 20, 2015

pausing for a comma moon and mouse goes free on starry night

On the porch fussing about, who knows what, Josie running around doing his thing and Elliott washing up as if sleeping all day has made him dusty, and I’m thinking dinner dishes yet, some reading to do, and I’m not sure what I’m doing on the porch, probably just waiting for Josie, but then I notice this sky out there. It is the sunless color of ash with this low border of dark grey clouds, but kind of almost midnight blue clouds, stacked up anyway on the horizon behind the dark meandering treetops, due west, and above the clouds the sky just so pale, as if non-existent. Then through some cracks in the clouds the softest colors, vague pinks and violets, but I think no, these colors are too vague for names, and then the moon appears, a Comma Moon, emerging from this colorless sky, emerging low down in the western sky, just above the clouds, and it is no more than a slight, suggestive curve of light. It drifts down, toward the clouds, toward the horizon, becoming, it seems, ever so slightly larger, longer, before it is gone.

There is a comma in this picture.

The next night there is a Beeswax Moon. Once again, on the porch, but it is darker than last night and the moon is already there, in the sky, the same place, but no longer a comma, well, maybe a comma that has been dipped over and over in molten beeswax so it is thick and heavy and golden, shining like a golden sling, and the Beeswax Moon sinks slowly, but also I am sure more quickly than did the Comma Moon the night before.

The Beeswax Moon.

The following night a skyful of clouds, a broad bold painting done in sweeps of grey, strokes of grey, dabs of grey, dribbles of grey, swirls of grey, rainy grey. And the next morning—a moonless morning—stars. There is Orion the Hunter posing like a god just above the trees on the southern horizon, and I think I should readily see all the patterns of the stars out there and know the names of those patterns, but then I am distracted by that fuzzy band of milk-white arching overhead.

Neither north, south, east, nor west. Just straight up.

That night is overcast, as is the following morning, but throughout the day, a farmers market day, the sky clears and that evening I watch once again for the moon, and the moon appears early and much higher up, now in the southwest sky, just a shy, ashy, quarter moon in a blue sky. It appears without a name, but dusk emboldens this moon and soon I will see it as the Wonderful Wedge of Melon Moon.

The Wonderful Wedge of Melon Moon.

That night I am awakened by the noise of a mouse. Where it is and what it is doing I don’t know, but scrabble scrabble scrabble. I get up, go downstairs, find a mouse caught in a trap, the trap I leave atop the back door frame. I catch many mice in that spot—it seems a favorite high road for the mousey set—and when the mousetrap snaps it usually falls to the floor, sometimes with the mouse, sometimes without. Now the trap is on the floor with a mouse caught just by a hind foot, and the mouse is, well, I guess the mouse is trying to figure out how to get this dang thing off my foot. And what’s with all the light? And this huge creature standing over me?

So yes, I agree. Now what?

How lucky I am that this is not the first time that a mouse has fallen from the top of the back door with one little foot caught in a mousetrap. It takes only a second or two of muddling around in my old sleepy brain to recall I need to get a bucket, pick up the trap with mouse attached, put it in the bucket, take it outside, release.

The first time this happened I was not so sure what to do, was not so sure what the mouse would do when I reached for and picked up the trap it was attached to—I imagined it flailing about wildly, freaking me out, and I imagined it lunging and sinking its fangs into the tender tip of my finger. It did neither. It froze, stared at me wide-eyed and cute, so endearingly cute with its little grey face, dark beady eyes, quivering whiskers, big pink ears, soft grey fur. I moved ever so slowly but eventually did pick up the trap by its edges and dropped it in the bucket. The mouse stayed quiet, bared no fangs, made no attempt to escape. At the far edge of the yard I shook the mouse and trap out of the bucket, expecting the mouse to high tail it clump clump clump into the field, but again, no movement. Rather, it seemed to give me a look that said Hey lady, you see this thing stuck to my foot, right? Hello? Help me. So I knelt down, took hold of the trap, pulled the metal bar away from the mouse’s foot, and the little guy scampered free.

So now I’ve set another mouse free and I look up and there are so many stars, visible stars, and I wonder what tonight’s moon will be.

Never fear, the trap is reset.