The old man loiters in the dark to gaze at the moon. “There she is” he murmurs as I walk by with my dog — our last stroll before bed — “an ever-blazing pearl in a sea of stars.”
Copernicus and I stop to raise our eyes. His nose lists skyward like a receiver, ready to decode Martian messages. We say nothing and are suspended awhile in a stillness like the gap between breaths.
Then I am attracted to the warm light cast from inside the man’s home through the open door. I see piles of hundreds, no thousands, of Scientific American and Private Eye against the walls, and papers — I wonder what they are — heaped on his desk as a mountain.
He notes my recognition of the Alps and foothills with a flicker of his left iris, and as it widens, I glimpse a reflection of the moon. I am swallowed until he tells me more than half the surface is visible now. “This is the only time we get to peek around the corner” he whispers.
We three watch the Super Moon then Copernicus grows impatient, listening for owl-hoots and fox-scampers, so I bid the old man goodnight under his star-blanket on the street.
Copyright © 2019 Bridget Webber. All rights reserved