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Behind the Dark Moon

Before my mind goes
if it goes before
body and senses,
lighten my darkness
of spite and self-will.

Open new doorways
before my mind goes,
and if it falters
grant hope and kindness
among skilled strangers.

Absolve my children
from thankless bondage
before my mind goes
into the blindness
of rancorous age.

Let me find a room
with windows on stars
and luminous leaves,
before my mind goes
behind the dark moon.

Tracing a river
of muted rainbows
I’ll sing thanksgiving
and go with a grace
before my mind goes.

Martha Bosworth, 11/89

Martha’s mind went behind the dark moon of Alzheimer’s some ten years ago. For the last five years she lived with skilled strangers here in Ashland, not recognizing her own beautiful words or the face of her beloved husband Hal.