Wolf Moon

for Ursula K. Le Guin,
October 21, 1929–January 22, 2018

The Wolf Moon took her, and the blood moon mourned her.
O moon that pulled my tides, o little mother,
I loved how in your novels you switched gender
as one might toss off one dress for another.
And then you altered further: to my wonder,
you wrote The king was pregnant to uncover
the way language itself colludes to sever
female from male, the human from the other.
How can a world exist where one’s not lesser?
You showed me. But utopia means nowhere.
And then you changed again, yinward and lunar,
acknowledging that gender isn’t minor
or a handicap to suffer, but one factor
of many used to dictate who has power
and who does not. Nusuth, your Taoist answer,
it doesn’t matter, doesn’t mean surrender
to how things are.
Rather, it means endeavor
to find your way from here.
No one could stop her.
And yet she’s gone. Nusuth. It doesn’t matter.

—Susan McLean