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Claire's poetry corner | Aug 13

August 12 in the Nebraska Sand Hills Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower by Twyla Hansen


In the middle of rolling grasslands, away from lights, a moonless night untethers its wild polka-dots, the formations we can name competing for attention in a twinkling and crowded sky-bowl. Out from the corners, our eyes detect a maverick meteor, a transient streak, and lying back toward midnight on the heft of car hood, all conversation blunted, we are at once unnerved and somehow restored. Out here, a furrow of spring-fed river threads through ranches in the tens of thousands of acres. Like cattle, we are powerless, by instinct can see why early people trembled and deliberated the heavens. Off in the distance those cattle make themselves known, a bird song moves singular across the horizon. Not yet 2:00, and bits of comet dust, the Perseids, startle and skim the atmosphere like skipping stones. In the leaden dark, we are utterly alone. As I rub the ridges on the back of your hand, our love for all things warm and pulsing crescendos toward dawn: this timeless awe, your breath floating with mine upward into the stars.

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