Remnants of a Full Moon is a collection of poems that take you on a journey with a daughter, wife, and mother. Many of the poems shine a light on the forgotten and lost, on awkward situations in a dentist chair, or while staring at a painting of a girl stuck in a corner. Beloved pets are also part of the narrative as well as pools that turn green in the summer.
In Remnants of a Full Moon, Michelle Gonzalez tracks the cyclical nature of life through its recurring movements: parent and child, in sickness and health, then and now. These compare-and-contrast moments are described with humor, grace, and a sincerity. The multi-dimensional speaker of these poems is far from the wallflower some might mistake her for. For instance, in the opening poem, “When an Introvert Tries to Mingle,” we find her in a typical physical education class with its cast of bullies, but Gonzalez turns any malice on its head: “What a Delight, I proved that I fit in a gym locker,” proving that she is in fact bigger than they are when she smiles and waves as she is released from the locker. Moments of tenderness are captured in amber: a father blow-drying his young daughter’s hair; a girl immersed in her Lego creation; an old woman’s faith and passing. These instances are reverential, introspective, elliptical. These poems do not purport to offer answers, but there is fellowship in the asking.
—Cati Porter, author of Novel and small mammals
Michelle Gonzalez’s collection Remnants of a Full Moon takes the reader on a delicate journey through that which has been left behind and forgotten, or perhaps has just gone unnoticed. From the girl who willingly has herself shut in the school locker to prove how tiny she is to the girl in the painting who becomes a mother’s target of vision, Gonzalez repeatedly calls our attention to the female perspectives we may not be noticing, and how these images – in their particularity and immediacy – may themselves be sacred and complex. A secret promise ring marks the end, not the beginning, of a relationship; raindrops fall unwelcome on a little girl’s cheek.
In this collection filled with girls, girls from the past and present talk about their families’ arguments, read Lego instructions, wonder now to enact the correct protocol with the dentist, shudder at the prospect of losing a beloved dog, watch a husband prepare dinner, weep at a grandmother’s passing, and wonder at the formation of stalactites. What remains? Love and language, and a true veneration of the feminine in intimate and overlooked guises.
—Stephanie Barbé Hammer, author of Pretend Plumber and City Slicker: encounters with the outside.
“My smile is on the inside, and I clap in my mind.” This eloquent line positioned at the end of a poem in which the narrator quietly observes her beloved daughter at play - and many other moments like this one - are sprinkled throughout this lovely collection of poems, Remnants of a Full Moon. In poem after poem, poet Michelle Gonzalez privately and astutely evokes the observed odds and ends in the fabric of her everyday and family life - as a mother, daughter, wife and woman - in which seemingly trivial turns of light and moon signify portals to pause, to the great mysteries of the continuum of humanity filled with wonder, sorrow, longing and joy, comprised of many small but vital parts.
—Ruth Nolan, author of After the Dome Fire