The Moon Demoted
by Ellen Roberts Young
Wasn’t the moon the earliest calendar?
Plants tell you when to harvest;
the moon told you when to plant.
Some calendars show moon phases
as a minor matter, in the corners
of white squares stacked
into months, paged into years,
days boxed, squaring the circular
path of tilting earth, its shifting cloak
of sky that makes each day different.
Night, whether long or short,
is reduced to a bar, straight
as a sidewalk between grass
and street, no place to note
an appointment with sleep.
Heartless as clocks, calendars
flatten life: doctor appointments
equal to hairdresser, lunch date,
a night at the opera, your
she whose mere existence
is a truer measure of time.