Laurie Koensgen

Dust on the Moon

Ash on an old man’s sleeve
Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended
Marks the place where a story ended.

— T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”
To my father 
Scientists are measuring the dust
on the moon—scant evidence
of what ought to be impossible. 
The radio consoles me as I sort your clothes.
It’s news I didn't know I wanted,
knowledge that soothes
the way your stories used to—
lambent specks that gather
sense in greater truths.

They want to prove that dust
collects and moves
on a body with no atmosphere,
and little gravity;
that charged particles
—plus in sunlight, minus on the dark side—
lift in the solar wind
at the shift between night and day.

Sift of lost stars,
lint from the tails of comets,
rising to catch the light of dawn.

I fold your flannel shirt, leave your scent
inside—the salt and cedar residue
of your careful life.
                                 I hold the soft shoulders,
loose the shirttails toward the sky
and watch your dust soar
in a slant of morning light.


Photo of Laurie Koensgen in front of a light grey background. Laurie is wearing a red v-neck sweater, and her hair is long and curly. Laurie is looking at the camera with a smile.

Laurie Koensgen (she/her) lives and writes in Ottawa. Her poetry has appeared in journals, anthologies and online magazines across North America and in the UK. Recent publications include Pinhole Poetry, Literary Review of Canada, flo. Literary Magazine, Poetry Pause, The Madrigal, and Contemporary Verse 2. Laurie is a founding member of the Ruby Tuesday Writing Group. Her latest chapbook, Blue Moon / Orange Begonias, is with Rose Garden Press. [provided for the Arc Award of Awesomeness in July 2023]

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