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