Jody Bolz

Moonrise Over Washington

Mapping the City: DC Places, Part II
Volume 11:4, Fall 2010

Moonrise Over Washington

—November 11, 2008

For half my life
I’ve walked by this river
late in the afternoon,

evening coming on
like a dream of home

or a mirror
in which failure, already dark,
keeps darkening.

Today, sycamores blaze
behind half-bare oaks, box elders,

and the water’s silver surface
runs orange, then rose,
then twilight blue.

Twigs snap high on the hillside.
I turn to see a stag

turning to see me,
and overhead—more astonishing—
the full moon caught in branches.

It’s five o’clock.
Leaves sway and flare,

gathering on the towpath—
each shape distinct, each color—
November’s moon lifting, now,

above the treetops, the city,
the reclaimable world.


Jody Bolz is the author of Shadow Play (Turning Point Books, 2013), and A Lesson in Narrative Time (Gihon Books, 2004) and has been executive editor of Poet Lore since 2002. Her poems have appeared in Indiana Review, North American Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner and Poetry East. To read more by this author: Museum Issue, Wartime Issue, Five Poems, Volume 4:1, Winter 2003.