i Paul Creek is a swift thief this time of year when ice is breaking up on the lake. It takes the image of the moon and kites a thousand counterfeits downstream. These many moons pock the creek’s dark surface like tight-packed scales of trout. The creek’s sudden coinage spent behind a stand of birch and aspen. An image of moon hangs still in the sky but soon the trout will steal even that. ii Where are you headed with our moon, trout? Alaska? Japan? Bring it back! It’s the Awakening Moon: without it our year won’t start; without it a wave of darkness will rise to swallow us. iii The trout splits open its belly, pours out offerings to its god, water, in darkness behind the swamp-birch. A few bright fingerlings trickle through, tickle the underbelly of the new year, flicker downstream, incite the cold, dead world to riot.
Sadiqa de Meijer on “Thousand Moon Creek”
This poem speaks of the moon, that old image, and astonishes us with its glow. In the diction, we hear the ice breaking up, the fish moving. It closes with a birth we might not otherwise witness—an intimacy that the poet has turned inside out to give to the world.
(update provided in 2023) Pete Smith lives on the unceded land of Tk’emlups te Secwepémc. He has published poems, reviews and essays internationally, including Bindings with Discords, 2015, from Shearsman. He was short-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, 2015, and Malahat Review’s Open Seasons Award, 2017. A fourth above/ground chapbook, Now You See It Now, is imminent.