A three-quarter moon at the half point of night
throws its bright light across the frozen grass.
I walk out past the concrete sidewalk
into the shadows of the birches
crumpled on the leaves and small broken branches.
A northwestern wind sends a deeper chill
along the path to the barn.
The horse stands
in the slightly warmer shelter of the shed.
Eager to be fed, he paces the pen
as I bend the stiff shape of the hose
in between the rails and lift the steel handle
to release the streaming plunge of fresh water
into the heated hold of the electric tub.
From inside the barn, I rub his neck for a moment,
then scoop up his tiny ration of sweet feed,
drop it into the needs of a hanging bucket,
fill the small rack with hay.
On my way back to the house,
I remember science’s point about the moon
being nothing more than a mirror,
simply reflecting the light of the sun.
I reckon when it’s all said and done,
no beggar cares much whether or not
the love in a bowl of hot soup on a cold day
makes its way to her directly from the Source
or has bounced from one screen to another.
Seems better to reflect a greater light
than to live in the night of absorbed darkness,
and whatever rises to the needs of others
is far better than an icy indifference,
no matter how much it glitters and glimmers
in the shimmering of its own admiration.