Full Moon at Midnight

Already abed, 

bundled and warm,

having abandoned the day,

Kurt joins me beneath the covers.

The full moon against the newly fallen snow

is casting a silvery glow through the bedroom window

and I marvel aloud at its intensity.

“Do you want to take a walk?” my husband asks.

To which I immediately answer, “No.”

Then after a moment’s thought:

“Well, yes… but no.”

After all, it’s midnight

and I was, or so I thought, in for the night.

But the moon is so very bright

and the snow so new.

So pearly white.

How could I not want to go into the night?

So we climb from our bed and into our clothes.

Kurt pours some brandy

and we call for the dogs,

already waiting, wagging wildly at the door,

fired up by the unexpected late night stroll.

Out in the courtyard, the wet black branches of the Mulberry tree, 

heavy with white,

bow toward the earth.

The full moon’s light casts the old tree’s shadow

across the ground and onto the courtyard walls

like a giant snowflake,

pitch and perfect in its silhouetted detail.

With the dogs well ahead, winding this way and that,

Kurt and I slowly follow our looping nature path

now hidden beneath inches of snow,

but glistening and recognizable in the full moon’s unrelenting glow.

The air is still and silent

except for our muffled footsteps 

and the clinking of the dogs’ collars

as they zig-zag to and fro;

noses iced from sniffing deep into the newly fallen snow,

creating crazed trails across the pristine powder.

The midnight scene is awash in a silvery light,

dimmed only briefly by a single, sweeping cloud 

passing over the full moon’s light.

Orion and surrounding stars struggle to be seen;

and a dense fog hovers over Chino Valley below

giving the lights of the small Arizona town a warm, dim glow.

The neighborhood is sleeping –

except, perhaps, for our friends down the hill, 

whose dim back porch light tells that maybe they, too,

are awake and bathing in the marvel of the midnight moon.

Up the hill and down through the wash we walk,

stopping every so often to sip brandy, 

now warming our insides,

and to marvel at the brilliance of the snow-laden pinions and junipers

against the incandescent sky.

Beneath their heavy canopies further up the hill, 

the mule deer, young and old, lay quiet and still.

Sheltered from the night and its unusual intruders.

But I know they’re there.

I see the peace in my husband’s eyes

which warms me better than brandy

and makes me smile under the moonlit sky.

I want to share the moment with the world –

to shout and rouse the neighbors to the scene;

while also greedy to keep it just Kurt, the dogs, and me.

Ahead in the corral are the well-lit horses 

who whinny at our approach,

thinking our late night stroll might mean an extra flake,

only to receive a few pats on the neck 

and a kiss on each nose.

And then on we go.

Through the bright.

And the white.

So wonderful to be out with my love on this radiant night.

Indulging in the silent, luminous scene;

while the fog glides over Granite Mountain

and the cold air feels kind against my cheeks.

Sorry in the knowledge that the moment is so brief.

By the time we’re back in our small, warm bed,

waiting for Nelly who caught some scent and fled,

the moon’s bright glow begins to dull in the fast moving fog. 

And our eyelids become heavy. 

And the moment is gone. 

But the memory is strong.

So happy my husband asked me on a snowy walk at midnight 

under the full moon’s brilliant, magical light.