Night and the ancients retreat
to a dark corner of their celestial prison
from the promised arrival
of the yellow dwarf from which
they know we demand a presence.
We ignore the ancients now,
ignore those who cast them
into their prison, ignore
the acts for which they were
banished, care only to name them,
and they know that our recognition
is their only grasp on existence.
Each day their tiny cousin
demands our full attention,
defies us to look deeply at him,
pleased that he is, for us,
the center of our universe.
From the heart of the night
the moon appeared, or a small
crescent of it, coy this night
as she is on a regular basis.
She hinted at her fullness,
but we knew that was still
days off, the moon kept
to a rigid schedule always.
But her reticence this night
invited the stars to take
the stage, some we rarely see
whether hiding in clouds
or obscured by the moon’s
radiance, and the stars
seem pleased for this brief
moment on the celestial stage.
On the worst day, of the worst
week, or even just a day, like most
that did not go the way you want,
step outside at night if the sky is clear
and stare upwards at the universe.
Realize that you are seeing
more than a monumental collection
of celestial bodies, that you are
experiencing so much history,
and moments older than
mankind itself, and in that moment
you are in the midst of eternity.
There was a time not all that long ago,
he reminds me, when the event of an eclipse
was a certain sign the world was ending.
Prayers were offered in profusion, and
the event proceeded and passed, so faith
in prayer was restored, if not in astronomy.
Today eclipses are viewed as just other
celestial events, like meteor showers
and solar flares, something to see,
something to experience, but always
with the knowledge that tomorrow
will always be right around the corner.
But the eclipse of our freedoms
is something we have never seen,
and many now believe the world
is ending, but we should, he says,
realize that like the slow passage
of the earth across the face of the moon,
we will emerge into the light again
in due time, our prayers having been answered.
He says what he wants most
is to own a star, outright, no sharing.
She says that he already does,
at least a part of one,
and he should be happy with that.
He laughs at her, and reminds
her that stars are huge, and
even a part of one would
light the room and his life.
She says she
can see them everywhere
and he could to if he
would just look carefully.
He says she is just
making noise to quiet him.
She says all it took
was a big bang and much time.
He glows when he hears this.