Make these star-fields a part of your home.
—Elihu Burritt, "An Evening Walk with the Children"

Orion and TaurusWe've turned off the TV news,
the latest slaughter in a country
whose name we can hardly spell.

We walk outside as our home woods
darken, lose detail – pines
and cedars joining a common black.

Above the west horizon, the sky
spills redwine, passionflower, blood
under a wheel of cloud whirring

slowly clockwise, south to north.
While we wait, obedient
creatures to a coming night,

you point overhead, where the sky
opens to a first star; a planet,
then a constellation. Now

hundreds more. Orion triangulates
with Taurus and Ursa Major.
Who could name so many stars,

to call them "home"? Lights
to lead us, as we search the dark
way back to our front door.

First published in Song of the San Joaquin
Copyright © Taylor Graham

Image Credit: Janne., some rights reserved

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She’s included in the anthology California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her current project is Walking with Elihu, poems on the American peace activist Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith (1810-1879).