Sliced Moon

I called my Dad late Saturday night, after a date -- the first in too long 
that I've wanted to linger, but instead let go to hover over my head with 
the perfect sliced moon -- and feeling like a worn cliche, I asked my 
father if he too thinks Mom may now have some kind of special pass through the unreal, some way to slip unseen between me and my Saturday night.  But really I didn't care; I just wanted to hear her name out loud.  And Dad -- the king of restraint -- took the conversation down to the cemetery and talked about the excellent sprinkler system; told me how the grass has now grown evenly all around so that Mom's and Grandma's resting dress look perfectly matched in eternal Spring; and how at his last visit, especially, he noticed this flawless grass was freshly mowed.  These are the words of solace my father speaks; his is an emotion of practical comforts.  And this -- all of this unsentimental effort so naturally spun -- and the fact of his 80th year -- and the freshly sliced memory of a moon-glazed night -- moved me to forgive his overlooking my birthday this once. 

Copyright 2001,  DJ Gaskin 

DJ Gaskin's essays, nonfiction and poetry have appeared in a variety of 
publications; she has short fiction pending publication; and is at work on 
her first novel.  By day, DJ is an employee communications manager, by 
night a Moon Child.  She lives in a treehouse in Burke, Virginia.