The Mystery of Meteors
I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors though the radio news says they are overhead Leonid's brimstones are barred by clouds; I cannot read the signs in heaven, I cannot see night rendered into fire And yet I do believe a net of glitter is above me You would not think I still knew these things: I get on the train, I buy the food, I sweep, discuss, consider gloves or boots, and in the summer, open windows, find beads to string with pearls You would not think that I had survived anything but the life you see me living now In the darkness, the dog stops and sniffs the air She has been alone, she has known danger, and so now she watches for it always and I agree, with the conviction of my mistakes. But in the second part of my life, slowly, slowly, I begin to counsel bravery. Slowly, slowly, I begin to feel the planets turning, and I am turning toward the crackling shower of their sparks These are the mysteries I could not approach when I was younger: the boulevards, the meteors, the deep desires that split the sky Walking down the paths of the cold park I remember myself, the one who can wait out anything So I caution the dog to go silently, to bear with me the burden of knowing what spins on and on above our heads For this is our reward:Come Armageddon, come fire or flood, come love, not love, millennia of portents-- there is a future in which the dog and I are laughing Born into it, the mystery, I know we will be saved
From The Mystery of Meteors by Eleanor Lerman, published by Sarabande Books. Copyright © 2001 by Eleanor Lerman. Used with permission. All rights reserved.