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SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Moon at Day

by R. G. Evans

Pulling down the rotten boards
of a swing set no longer loved,
I feel you up there over my shoulder.

I built these swings myself
a dozen years ago. The tilt,
the lurch, my work for sure.

Now I pull it down and you pull too,
eye that couldn’t wait for the night.
The tide in me rises to think

of unborn children, the two we lost,
who might have made me keep
these posts from falling apart.

A little paint. A little patch.
Maybe you’re one of them,
serious moonlight

looking down on me now
as I go about my best work:
destruction. Only one of you there,

precocious, ignoring bedtime.
Where’s the other?
Maybe Halley’s Comet, silver sibling,

running wild across the heavens,
not to return till I’m most surely gone.
These boards are full of rusty nails.

My knees creak like the gallows.
My daughter is sealed away in her room
writing stories that don’t include me.

Only you can see me wipe my eyes
that burn in the lowering sun.
Only you have the grace to linger

as sky gives way to sky, empty blue
to a black freckled with impossible light.


—Selected for Honorable Mention in the competition for the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize 2016, and first published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2016-17 (Garden Oak Press, February 2017); appears here with permissions from both poet and publisher.


SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

R. G. Evans

Poems, fiction, and reviews by R. G. Evans have appeared in Rattle, The Literary Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Paterson Literary Review, Lips, MARGIE, The Best of Pif Magazine (Offline),​and Weird Tales, among others. He is the author of two collections of poetry: The Holy Both, published by Main Street Rag Press in 2017; and Overtipping the Ferryman, which received the 2013 Aldrich Press Poetry Prize.

His original music, including the song “The Crows of Paterson,” was featured in the documentary All That Lies Between Us about the life and work of Maria Mazziotti Gillan.

Evans lives in southern New Jersey where he teaches high school and college English and Creative Writing.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury