Moonlight Is Starlight (For Nicholas, Age 6)

What a pretty little
you are—
twirling in your dress
of pink and baby blue,
colors you chose
in a pattern you picked
and your grandmother stitched
into a halter top and flowing skirt.

The family still calls you
and he and him and his.
(I dreamed you called yourself
Adiane, “to the goddess
of the moon.”) They brag
how smart
you are.

One late summer night
they marveled to count
four bright stars aligned,
all planets they could see:
Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars.
I see five, you said
and showed them
Earth beneath their feet.

You want to grow
long hair,
but the family wants you
and this turning world
has no such guarantee.

if you tell me your true name,
I’ll share a secret
you may already know.
The moon takes her light
from the sun, our star. So
moonlight is sunlight—
and starlight too. Yes,
some truth comes cloaked
in mystery. For now—

keep spinning. Swirl lavender
from pink and baby blue.
Live the thrill
of skirt whirling out to orbit
you: a sun, a star,
a child,
a world.


“Adiane” is pronounced “AH-dee-AH-nee.”