Moon on the Conejos River


Full moon, full river now — a mountain tide
at flood stage and still rising with the flow
released from fortress peaks of the Divide,
where spring subverts high parapets of snow.

Careening from Platoro Reservoir,
the river seeps through meadows, undermines
its banks, invades low thickets, leaves a scar
among uprooted willows, sodden pines,

and bears as casual trophies limbs and boughs
that ride the current, catch, turn, plunge, and rush,
white-watering on rapids where it plows
against a weir of river stones and brush.

Serene, the moonlight multiplies and makes
a thousand-mirrored mosaic on the stream,
a shifting coat of mail, as armor breaks,
then links again in images of dream —

a silvered knowledge showering the world —
in emulation of prehensile mind,
whose luminosity, reflected, pearled,
discloses in phenomena one kind,

embracing perfect moments and debris —
the swift inscription of a night bird’s arc,
the inundated grass, a floating tree,
unearthly music playing to the dark.

Catherine Savage Brosman is Professor Emerita at Tulane University, retiring as the Gore Professor of French. Her books of poetry include Passages (1996); Places in Mind (1994); and The Muscled Truth (2003), all from L.S.U. Press.

First published in Measure, Volume 1 (2006)