Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

One of the late Kate Barnes’s most memorable poems derives from the common Maine experience of lying awake on a night lit by the moon and its reflection on snow.

Another Full Moon

By Kate Barnes

The house, lit by moonlight

on the snow, glows inside

like a huge jewel, a moonstone

or opal.

The whole house

shimmers with its freight

of living souls, and the souls

of disembodied memory.

I lie

inside my warm bed in the cold

brightness, dreaming of those

who can no longer dream

of anyone, who have become

motes of dust

in the air, those universal


You would imagine,

looking into the next room,

that a lamp was lit,

but I know it is only

the light of the moon

westering, nearly full,

over the snow.

I am not wanting

or asking anything

impossible; it’s just

that I can’t help

thinking about it.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1994. Reprinted from Where the Deer Were, David R. Godine, 1994, by permission of David R. Godine. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at [email protected] or 228-8263.