Pluto’s moons are tumbling in complete chaos. Yet, the DPW worker expertly paints
poles in the parking lot of the commuter rail, poles the yellow of finches, of
bananaquits, of traffic lights, without leaving a single drop on the cracked tar.
Moons tumbling in chaos. Yet, the tuna fisherman steadies his coffee from
Dunkins—regular, to go—holding the door for the next customer, trailing the scent
of mackerel mixed with dark roast, his trawler steady in Gloucester Harbor.
Pluto’s moons are tumbling in complete chaos. Yet, black locusts bloom exactly on
schedule, and garlic cloves open when they are supposed to, after a long slumber,
sending out scapes that ascend, then bend, in supplication.
I don’t know about Pluto’s moons. I know about the DPW worker. And the
fisherman, whose name is Dennis. I know about my conductor—Mike, the one we all
love—who sings me happy birthday somewhere between Manchester and Salem,
holding my hand, and I don’t want him to let go when the song is over. He’ll be gone
before the year ends.
I know the taste of the black locust blooms, each floret sweet as peas dipped in
honey, shining white in moonlight, and I know about the red moon, the rare super
blue blood moon and its eclipse, the one I glimpsed from my early morning window,
bleeding gently into Ipswich Bay, gone before I scored the last parking space in that
commuter rail lot, the one I told you about, where the DPW worker does not spill a
drop of yellow paint.
When Pluto’s moons are tumbling down, when the blood moon drips the last of its
sorrow, behind my familiar horizon, I am on my way, riding the Gloucester-to-
Boston line, waiting to embrace my first-born, my only-born, and give her a loving
shove into the next stable dimension.
Lenore Balliro is a writer, art worker, garden mentor, and adult literacy educator. She has been published in a number of journals and anthologies and is a former recipient of Rhode Island State Council on the Arts award for poetry. She lives in Gloucester, Massachussetts.
Image of Pluto and Charon by NASA.