Michael Perry: Illumination under the full moon


I drop the pocket door of the coop and elicit not a cluck. The chickens are at roost and at rest, leaving the wild geese to do their thing. A chicken is bound to migrate between the feed pail and the nesting box, with peck-and-scratch side trips as the fencing allows, but beyond that they are homebodies, upshot being it is easier to find the eggs.

It’s back up the rise then, to the crest of the hill and the house, remembering to duck beneath the bare branches of the apple tree, as nothing harshes the ceremonial lunar scene like stick to the eye. A last look at the moon, then it’s inside to lock the door and climb the stairs, call it a day.

Tomorrow there will be bills and appointments, errands, and I imagine some missteps, backtracking and low-key futility.

I will probably try to open my office door without unlocking it even though it has to be unlocked every morning, and this will render me testy at the only person to blame, the same person who knows where the key is stashed and in fact was the last to stash it, but nonetheless requires the dumb surprise of the failed entry to remind him to actually use the key.

Again, this is likely to be only the first setback of the day.

For now, however, it is head to the pillow, mind to the sky, choose your drift-off adventure: take a trip to the moon, sit astride a sparse cloud, fly point with the midnight geese. And failing that, raise the window to allow the sound of the highway in, all those miles banked all those years ago unspooling in dreams, the moon slowly edging its way toward morning.

An original “Roughneck Grace” column exclusive to the Wisconsin State Journal. Audio versions may air on “Tent Show Radio” (tentshowradio.com). Read more from Michael Perry at www.sneezingcow.com.


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Michael Perry: Illumination under the full moon