Journalism In Verse

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The Other Half of the Sky [AUDIO]

in Audio/Culture by

 

“See? That’s the Big Dipper.
And the Little Dipper is over there.”

We watched the night sky together, Dad and I.
I longed to see what he saw—

Stories in the stars. Fiery folktales of
kings, queens and chameleons;

a lizard, a lynx, and a lion.
Celestial chronicles scripted onto

a black velvet picture book.
I longed to read the stars where

a deranged dragonfish hurtles
toward the earth from two million

miles away. “What cosmic superhero
will rise to the challenge?” I asked

my dad as he tucked us—me and
my beagle Hunter—into our bed:

“And what is a ‘lesser dog’ anyway?”
Still, the astronomical plot eludes me.

Eludes us—if we are wise to perceive:
star-storying? A singular distillation

of collective imagination. Parabolic patterns
pinned to where our lives are planted.

Forever made mystical, magical even?
I long to remember—when on a clear night

we think we can see forever? The star
so blazing brilliant to our not-so-naked eyes

burned out yesterday, and always—always—
half the sky is hidden away beneath our feet.

 


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Jill Crainshaw is a professor and poet in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her work has been published by The New Verse News, Panoply, and Star 82 Review. Her first chapbook, Cedars in Snowy Places, is being published in the fall by Finishing Line Press.

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