The moon was a beautiful splinter last night, hanging amber in the indigo sky, while threads of milky purple clouds drifted by like lazy hitchhikers on a deserted highway. Oh, I wanted a picture—or two— but between arriving home and chopping onions for soup, leaving no time to get the camera, the moon dropped behind the trees, then, slipped below the horizon, out of reach, out of time. If I’d known— if I’d known, I would’ve stood in her light a little longer, gazed more fully, breathed more deeply, taking in the angled crescent nodding luminous in the muted night. I carry it now, a photograph in my mind, as I do all beautiful things. ©stephanie g pepper, 2020
the winter wren
This morning I had a long conversation with a winter wren. I’m not sure what passed between us, exactly, only that something did. Something that left me feeling joyful… giddy, almost… and definitely delighted. All afternoon I considered this, and wondered why such a secretive little bird would call me out for a chat, which, clearly, she did, kit-kittering loudly all around me until, at last, I called out “hello, Little One,” and rose to find her in the undergrowth. She did not startle and fly away at my approach, but studied me quite carefully as I spoke. Neither was she injured, as she crept around under the rocks and hopped among the tangled thickets, a worm dangling from her fine, sharp beak, chittering all the while. And now, night has fallen fully, and the moon peers out behind the clouds, and I—delighted and grateful—am no closer to knowing what, exactly, passed between me and the winter wren.
©stephanie g pepper, 2021