The Moon and My Mother

MoonI am new to this role, this looking for answers in the sky. Futures were always my mother’s demesne. She could see a man’s death in the stars, the fulfillment of dreams in the face of the moon.

When I look to the moon, I see only reflected light. The shining is a barrier to the substance of the surface. Tenuous and ephemeral, it is nonetheless impermeable to me. Crust, mantle, core: the shining of the moon is less than the sum of its parts.

Now we are walking together through the night, you and I, your small hand warm in mine. I begin to question the intractability of my understanding. Where my mother saw the universality of fate, I have always found certainty in the mathematics of the spheres. But the moonlight on your upturned face reflects more than 1.278 seconds worth of bright certitude.

We scatter my mother’s ashes under the stars. They are dark and gritty. The wind whirls them up and away, a last letting go of the material. We watch in silence, two motes on a hill under heaven.

“Look! I see Grandmama!” You are pointing up at the familiar configuration of lunar seas.

“I see her too,” I answer, looking at you.

This post was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge  prompt.

You should write a creative response using the given word. You must use the word in your response, and you must use it correctly. Your response can be no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words. This week’s word is:


1. having recently come into existence
2. a (1) : having been seen, used, or known for a shorttime (2) : unfamiliar    b : being other than the former or old
3. having been in a relationship or condition but a short time <new to the job> <a new wife>

This post also addresses this week’s Write On Edge prompt:

The prompt: You have 500 words to write a piece, fiction or non-fiction, which includes the phrase to the moon.

24 responses to “The Moon and My Mother

  1. OH.
    That is the small, stunned sound that came out of my mouth when I finished reading your stunning piece. That and WOW. Goodness, this is gorgeous, and tight, and meaningful. As a mama who adores her own mama. As someone who loves the moon. As someone who loves the way words bump up against each other. Seriously, gorgeous.

  2. This is so poignant. I like how you made the ashes and the that moment so special while the moon played an important character.

    Thsi is very well written. great work.

  3. beautifully and sensitively portrayed. great post

  4. This was a wonderful dance with celestial bodies.

  5. This was such a good story. I like how the moon is seen differently by the generations. In the end it doesn’t matter that the narrator doesn’t have the same connection with the moon, because she can see her mom in her own daughter. Nice.

  6. Oh, this is lovely. I have such awe for the moon and the way she floats around our planet, faithful and steady.

  7. Beautifully written!

  8. I really like this. Thank you!

  9. trifectawriting

    Thanks for linking up this week. This is just absolutely lovely writing. I really enjoyed it. I liked the contrast between the science and the magic. Your vocabulary lends such credibility to the speaker’s thoughts. Excellent job. Hope to see you back again soon.

  10. Poignant and rich in detail and character and meaning. I love that you used the word ‘demesne’, I’ve only ever seen it used with property but it worked so well here. 🙂

  11. Beautiful. I love the shift that happens halfway through, and the ending is just perfect.

  12. Love it. The last line is great but my favorite part is this:

    “Where my mother saw the universality of fate, I have always found certainty in the mathematics of the spheres. But the moonlight on your upturned face reflects more than 1.278 seconds worth of bright certitude.”

    The language says so much about that character. Still scientific but gaining a different understanding, too. Very nice work.

  13. Oh that is beautiful. The gift passed on to the grandchild, and a mother wise enough to see the beauty rather than to feel jealousy.

  14. Lovely. The transition from the “parts of the moon” to the innocent beauty of it reflected in a child’s face, very nicely done!

  15. I don’t even have anything clever to add. It’s just wonderful, Christine.

  16. Oh, this is LOVELY. I really enjoyed how you played with the ideas of reflected light and what the moon means to dreamers and scientists alike.

  17. Everyone else’s comments pretty much say it all! I loved reading these words of yours…and congrats on this week’s top 3!

  18. The last line is it for me. No need to look at the moon. Just a child’s face. Full of wonder.

  19. This poem, a “trifecta” in its own right (Grandma, Mom, Child) is so touching, I cried. The idea of scattering her ashes by the light of the moon is beautiful, and pointing our Grandma in the stars? Yeah, that’s where you had me going… lovely poem, hon. Amy

  20. This was very, very good! I loved the “full of wonder” aspect.

  21. Wow. What an incredibly touching piece. This was inspiring!

  22. So beautifully written! It totally captivates you right from the beginnning. And the ending is amazing!

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