Patricia L. Scruggs: "October Moon" & Two More Poems

Patricia L. Scruggs lives in Southern California. Her work has been published in CALYX Journal, ONTHEBUS, Spillway, RATTLE, Qarrtsiluni and the anthologies13 Los Angeles Poets, Deliver Me, and So Luminous the Wildflowers.

My Mother Said

We were always moving,
and often in the dead of winter.
Your father would go on ahead
to set up the machine shop
at yet another new oil field.
I’d be left to pack up the house
with three kids underfoot.
I packed boxes for days,
until I ran out of energy.
Then, I’d start a bonfire
in the snow out in back,
burn magazines, catalogues,
torn clothes, broken toys.
Once, I threw an old doll
of your sister’s onto the fire.
I’ll never forget how
it began to melt,
opened its eyes
and cried out,
“Mama, Mama.”

17th Avenue, Just Past the Calgary Zoo

Through yellow birch trees on my left,
the river flashes silver.
A sky so blue, it makes me ache.
My grandson sings in the back seat.
Hold this moment, hold this day.
Forget the winter’s naked trees,
the snow, the frozen river,
the long darkness ahead.

October Moon

“Why hello, Beautiful,” I say,
as the moon pops up,
huge and orange,
over the Arco sign.
Later, I notice it has climbed
out of the smog layer–
still large, but paler now
in the eastern sky.
At two A.M., it fills the skylight.
In the morning, it’s still there,
with only a few stars
for company.
“Hello, Beautiful.”
And I am filled with love
for this life, this earth,
this moon, this sun
just over the horizon.

What are you looking for?