The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
You Can Learn to Listen to the Star
By Martin Willitts Jr.
“Something/calls through the stars, telling me/to be brave and also to be afraid.” — William Stafford, To You around Me
A distant sound lasted all day, a reckoning whispering,
and when it got impenetrably dark enough
to disappear, I knew what the stars were telling me.
Their voices were silkworms making thin lines,
pushing the sky to the extreme edge where the brave die.
I was not afraid of that strange music.
When I was a child, I practiced Morse code. I tried
to identify enemy planes by wingspan
in the dot and dash clouds. However, the war was over.
A voice kept warning me, keep aware of your surroundings;
the political leaders get bored without conflict;
workers need jobs making more efficient killing machines.
Now the disconnected telegraph wires are sending updates.
Planes knife through the skies, breaking the sound barrier.
A politician sharpens his pen to declare more war.