In New Concord, Ohio
–for Doug Swift
Past the chimney, small hawks rode the thermals.
We looked out on a dark too early
for Jupiter though we craned our necks.
I wasn't sure how the coming occultations
of its moons, Europa and Ganymede, figured in.
Projected lights on a dome devised my city
vista of stars. A stranger to barnyards and orchards,
to the low, blue T.V. glimmer in villages
that once sold coal and red clay pots,
I only guessed at the refuge
you took in birds, star lore and myth, what silence
from the past you filled with sentences.
Stroking your cat, Dizzy G,
red as your breeze-filled hair, I imagined the wind
lifting us up and plunking us down
next to three meadow larks pecking for worms.
or downwind from Zanesville's muted light
where Billie's gardenia, the moon
frazzled blue jazz in riffs over the river.
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