Travel By Starlight

compass-rose-wp

The map has led me to this unsought future
but I have embraced every unfolding
as an old forest treasures each new creature
born in its underbrush

Yet    in the starlight of dreams
I still resume my drive through the rural Midwest
& immerse myself again in the summer haze
of primroses     asters     columbines     & great hay rolls
drowsing along the roadside     as I watch
the day’s last sunlit ladle dip into the evening musk
& my atlas yawns the black dome’s milky expanse
until the whispering oaks & cricket trills sing me back

My life is a map on its head

East has become west & west east
for the Northern Lights always trying
to swim on my horizon     Once     I would have 
died in the breath of their luminescent ghosts
but now I know their hold on me was fleeting—
just as tonight’s reverie was no more solemn
nor less gratuitous     than mistaking
my gas fireplace’s crackle for a memory

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

travel-by-starlight

3 thoughts on “Travel By Starlight

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