Solstice Moons

2010-12-21

Last night in this part of the world we experienced a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice, which supposedly won't happen again until the year 2094. It made me think a full moon we had on the solstice back in 1999, and the poem I wrote then for a friend I've since lost track of...

My friend, this solstice moon reminds me to look up at the sky --
the brightest moon in a hundred years, they say, but right now I
can't make out the features I like best for all this blinding light:
the features my father taught to me on moonless winter nights
when we would walk up to Clifton Park (where summers I played ball)
and peer at the deep of space to find the Dippers large and small,
the twins, the bull, Orion's Belt, but most of all the Queen's Chair,
my favorite because harder to find and closer to my scale
and the scale of my father's love -- my eye seeks it even still
among the million numberless stars, the stars that I feel will,
fighting distance, connect me to you, to my passed father's life,
to the numberless millions who lived on earth before my time,
to the numberless more who'll live here once I'm gone -- or who may,
for all I know, not live here at all but venture out away
into space, expand the home of man -- for them the stars will be
their park (will they play with comets as I played ball?) -- yet I see
in my mind's eye that sometimes they'll look back at where the earth must lie
and feel as I do when, thinking of you, I look up at the sky.

Scott, that's for you, wherever you might be...


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal