The poetic city: “Our Moon and Star”

Moon and stars and life. (Photo by: Alex Johnson)

“Our Moon & Star”

ABJ, February 2020

We stand on our house porch tonight   

Again like we did in his early days

Back when he was new 

When he cried, all tongue & wide gums, 

When all I knew to do then was to 

Step outside & hold him tight.

I’d see his eyes alight like he agreed

The air outside was all right,

Irritants absconded in the breeze,

Suddenly, there was nothing to fight,

Just the calm to feel & birds to hear.


But it’s different tonight now that

He’s armed with teeth & words. 

He’d just asked to go outside & here we perch

Atop the porch stairs at home

Leaning over the banister we stare East, 

Round & rising downriver above the trees, 

– “Moon” –  

He points with a little clay finger come to life.

Again he lunges & I restrain him to my hip   – “Moon” – 

He speaks now with the confidence of sensory repetition,

As a new person on Earth, he’s learning to 

Connect the sounds & signs with cognition. 


We spin ourselves left to watch the West 

A full 180 degrees to see – “Star” – 


The sky’s clear & full of constellations 

But Venus shines brightest & nearest,

Not far, it’s up close & seems to beam upon us

– “Star” – he says again from the saddle.


We turn back East – “Moon” –

We turn upriver – “Star” –


With use of his pointer finger, the heart’s extremity,

Pumped full of purpose, he aims & names, 

He learns the comforts of memory 

Through the practice of identification – “Moon” –

– “Star” – 


From Wm’s new voice flows a spring,

A spring of stories we share for the short time we’re here.

Some timeless & true like our view of the cosmos, 

Some socially assigned like Magritte’s pipe. 

Later with more memories & these kinds of connections collected

He’ll learn the difference (may we all),

But tonight on this porch with our Moon & Star,

He’s ID’d the pattern to map us from home to heaven 

And I agree with the air & his eyes, 

Everything’s good outside & all is just right. 



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