Moonlight on Alabaster


Every night of the year but one, the plaza is empty.
The fountain makes the only sound. Once a year
On a cloudless night, when the moon shines brightly
On the alabaster lions that guard the plaza,
The fountain slows to a trickle and the only sound
Is the gentle lapping of the water as it settles.

Then there is the sound of stretching lions,
As they rise from their sitting position at the top
Of the steps that lead to the open plaza.
They pad on their large paws down the steps,
And prowl in circles around the fountain.
Anyone who stumbles on them will find his feet
Are quickly turning in the opposite direction.

But the lions' ramble doesn't last all night;
In an hour or so, they will bound back up the steps
And sit at attention, surveying the plaza below.
Slowly the fountain will begin to flow again,
And the moon will slide under a passing cloud.
Like a song heard once and then misplaced,
The night of the lions will remain forgotten
For another year of uneventful nights.


©2016 Michael Fraley




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