Martha Vertreace-Doody - “Walking under Night Sky”

On call at the hospital, you doze
until someone codes
in primary colors—another bedside hand
to warm, more prayers,
more mystery to explain. At home, my radio
drones past midnight as bombs
drain the heart of Baghdad into my dream: something
strafes the lakefront; finds us
in separate beds, different cities. Resting
on the horizon,
at vernal equinox,
the moon swells
as if you guard me,
your face looming over Earth’s rim.
Moon illusion—
only the name grows large: Worm or Crow
or Awakening. A flash
glazes my window with memories:
me, lying in your arms
while sheet lightning drapes the trees;
hearing my grandmother whisper
lightning turns grass green.

No hope for sleep. I walk
out back under deep sky
looking for crocuses, daffodils
in bed—not knowing eight billion years ago
two asteroids collide
between Mars and Jupiter. Tonight their fireball
bursts over the upper Midwest.
Thick minutes of wondering
whether the sky falls
or stars shoot,
or silkworm missiles sear the lake;
whether I can reach you
in time for bones to meld, our blood
to powder, adrift in the same cloud;
to give you my last breath or take yours;
when meteorites shatter mirrors,
smash windows, open roofs to the bright
possibility of darkness.

Walking Under Night Sky” appeared in Glacier Fire (Cincinnati:  Word Press, 2005) by Martha Vertreace-Doody.  Copyright © 2005 by Martha Vertreace-Doody.