Dorothea Kewley

Driving home across the desert
after the church convocation,
I grope through the stars,
headlights brushing sage,
and hold the dotted line,
seam stitching us fast
to earth. We’d drift,
should the bright thread break,
off the narrow road
into sage and stars.
Whatever led us out
will surely guide us in
though in the strictest sense
we never quite return.
A gray mouse crossing,
life, a welcome sign.
What nectar does it drink
out here among the yuccas?
Dial a station, break
the lullaby of wheels.
Is a church choir
or a sharp spined star
hymning its defiance
defending sage as home?
Along a ridge of black,
Orion, sword of stars
sheathed, on one elbow reclines.
The rising scorpion
stalks us from behind.

Black sky is graying:
the stars are fading into dawn.

That was forty years ago.
If only for one night
I could return
to the desert of my youth
and the beckoning of stars.



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