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Old Woman on the Moon (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: I remember hearing this particular legend as a child. The problem is I cannot remember its exact origins. However, there are many stories, in general, of goddesses or other divine beings living on the moon.]

Have you heard about The Old Woman on the Moon—

     reputed to spin each phase on her loom

                                               a silvery slice at a time

                                with threads taken from The Milky Way

                 until her masterpiece hangs among the heavens

                                      (in a timeless art gallery)

                                                   so resplendent and powerful

                                                            its fabric will unwind

                                                                        back into

                                                                  the raw material

                                                                           of the


As a child                I used to wonder how she could stand

      to work so hard           for her work to just                 fall apart

                     since ancient times

                                                           almost like a punishment

Until one evening                 I had a dream that she laughed at me

                         from way up high          and said,

            “Oh,       but this is my work           little one

                        to spin          unwind          and begin afresh

                                        to reflect your world in which

                     all people must try          fail        then rise once more

                           or strive to create       complete their dreams    and move on

                                   so       please remember…

                                                          every moon is a new moon”

Ever since then            I have had to agree

          and whisper her wisdom

                    as a witness to the radiance

                            of a work done well

                                        against the canvas

                                              only the cosmos

                                                         can provide


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