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Poet's Corner

The Fullness of March Moons


Even during the storm, tonight’s moonlight

is generous enough to wend its way through

the blinds, shifting patterns on my pillow.

So here it is, this full moon in late March,

on the cusp of spring, this moon of many names,

Full Crow Moon for the cawing end of winter,

or Full Crust Moon, named by people of the north

for the snow that forms a brittle crystalline cover,

falling by day, freezing firmer overnight.

Perhaps you’d rather taste The Full Sap Moon,

the maples oozing sweet sticky liquid,

the sultry perfume of boiling molasses.

And to Christian settlers in unchartered

territory, The Lenten Moon, a time of penance

and prayer before the promise of rebirth.

Here in my backyard, I prefer the title,

Full Worm Moon, as we plant our early peas,

welcoming the enthusiasm of earthworms.

The robins, already present with tilted heads

and probing beaks attuned to underground

activity, the worms beginning to cast about.

Do the wrigglers even care about the moon

with all its myriad names and fecund cycles,

or do they only wait for the ground to thaw

the soil to warm a few degrees, the winds

to blow from the south, and the rains to

open up crevices before they can rise again?

And unlike the changing moon sailing overhead,

they rise and forge their own paths,

obvious or not, in all their fullness.

Still we, travelers all, whether we cruise

in predictable circles round a constant center,

or meander through tunnels in the deep underworld

are guided by reflected light from afar,

gifted by it all, the cries of crows, the melting snows,

the rise of sap, the rebirth of spring, and

even the lowly creatures who plow the earth,

hiding and biding their time, until perhaps they too,

feel the pull of the Full Worm Moon

Debra Orben is a retired elementary teacher who enjoys gardening, wondering and wandering around her neighborhood in Upper Bucks County. She cares deeply about nature and hopes for a more just, peaceful and flourishing world for all beings.

Poet’s Corner is curated by Bucks County Poet Laureate Emeritus Tom Mallouk and supported by a grant to the Bucks County Herald Foundation made possible by Marv and Dee Ann Woodall.

Note from the curator: Attention, youth poets, please submit to Poet’s Corner. Email submissions in a Word document, using Times Roman font, and 12-point type to Include a bio written in the third person of no more than 50 words. If the poem has been previously published, please notify us.

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