Size / / /

The sun, going about her daily chores,

glimpses a new star in the sky,

one smaller than herself,

yet strangely familiar.

Used to catching her image first in puddles,

then growing larger in lakes,

she at first only sees a stranger,

then catches herself

spread in the moon's reflection

across thousands of miles of sky.

Hypnotized by the beauty

of this strange new view of herself,

she can't ignore it,

sneaking looks time after time;

she can't take her eyes off herself.

Daily, as the moon moves about in the sky,

the sun catches tantalizing glimpses

of herself from multiple angles.

By then, the sun imagines herself to have

the moon's full attention,

claiming it as her mirror.

Like Snow White's wicked stepmother,

the sun asks this mirror repeatedly,

methodically, almost hypnotically,

"Who is the fairest of them all?"

The moon answers all questions


bringing the sun back time and again,

puppet on a string

seeking a definitive answer.

By day, the moon untangles

its strings of moonlight,

puts out its nets.

Their dialog moves sideways;

the sun's questions, always direct,

glance off the moon;

the moon's answers slip around behind it

as the sun tries to get a better look

at what the moon might be saying.

Who was created in whose image?

Which came first,

the chicken, the egg, or the yolk,

small sun caught up in the quicksilver lies

of albumen?

Duane Ackerson's most recent collection of poems and prose poems is The Bird at the End of the Universe. His science fiction has appeared in The Year's Best SF 1974, 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, and Burning With A Vision, among other places.

You can view more of Cathy and Duane's work in our archives, or contact them at

Cathy Ackerson’s poetry has appeared in venues including Caprice, The Dragonfly, Out of Sight, and the anthologies But Is It Poetry? and Poets West. Her artwork has appeared in several publications from Dragonfly Press including Rocket Candy.
Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
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