Moonstain by Ronda Miller

RondaMillerBarn doors pushed closed an

indication something worth investigating

was within. It took all my strength to

slide to open, close again.


New birth in pungent urgency led

me to the still born calf quite warm. I

nestled into the hay beside it, placed

my arms around its neck.


I knew what death was—had

listened to whispers about my

mother’s not long before. I could

hear the mother cow’s loud bawling

from outside the back barn door.


I felt the spirit lift from the calf, swirl

around me, disappear. It grew cold;

I felt damp fear.


I sat in the caliginous stall

until my sister came, took my

hand, ran with me past my grandmother’s

garden of hollyhocks, iris, strawberries,

rhubarb, past the spot where the

rattler soaked up water from a sprinkler

one August day, past the rotten elm where

winged fire ants swarmed in balls before

they tumbled to the ground.


We opened the rusted screen door, tiptoed

to bed where I lay crying, because it

felt so wondrous, because it felt so good,

until the moon’s stain no longer

spread across the floor.

Bio: Ronda Miller enjoys wandering the high plateau of NW Kansas where the Arikaree Breaks whisper late into the sunset and scream into blizzards and t-storms. She lives in Lawrence close to her son and daughter. She is Youth Contest Manager for Kansas Authors Club, District 2 President, and a Life Coach specializing in working with those who have lost someone to homicide. She dances every chance she gets. She has poetry in numerous online and hard copy publications that include The Smithsonian Institute. 

Guest Editor Diane Wahto has an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University. Her poem, “Someone Is Always Watching,” won the American Academy of Poets award. Recently, her poems “The Conspiracy of Coffee” and “After the Storm” were published in Active Aging. She, her husband, and two dogs live in Wichita, Kansas.


8 thoughts on “Moonstain by Ronda Miller

  1. Said and written as if I were actually experiencing it!! So Love this poem…and many others that you have shared.

    • Marci, you’re so supportive. Thank you for that. And I finally did get those books and CD sent today. <3!

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