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(Photo credit:  This poem was inspired by German painter Heiko Müller‘s drawing, Not Dark Yet, http://www.heikomueller.de)

 

Long ago two young men drew a map of the sky

Laying on their backs, perhaps,

Like children in tents with holes in the tops

They counted and connected the stars.

 

Order from chaos was formed in their eyes

Squinting into darkness

Blinded not by light but by enormity

And mysteries invisibly connected.

 

They traced routes with their fingers, point A to B,

Like homemade kites pursuing the way

With windy anticipation and

Lines to find what was or was not connected.

 

As the men grew beards, their love of the sky

Fell to the earth and to pieces.

Shatters of themselves were given away

To money, ambition and work, disconnected.

 

One of the two held hands with success

Palms sweaty together and traveling

With compass pointed away from the heavens

And down to notifications and contacts: connected?

 

The other man poured his life slowly

Like a cup spilling over his family—a wife and two kids—

He drained all he had, a deluge of hope

And then gurgled and gasped as she fled: disconnected.

 

Alone—surprised by aloneness—

The un-wifed man lifted the tips of his naked fingers to the sky.

Suspended in air his hand wished to feel

To touch, to reach, to caress, to connect.

 

No alien hand reached with fingers to intertwine

So the man looked down, instead.

A tear dripped from his eye—a smile inside—to his future:

Two children counting and connecting the stars.

 

Jill Szoo Wilson

 

 

 

 

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