Northern Sky

by Kate Marshall Flaherty

Tonight the sky is fiercely dark,
a jeweler’s velvet
with glassy gems
shining out.

Clear. Hard. Bright.
In the ones
we recognize, order—
patterns, dots to connect:
W, four-square with dipper tail,
a hero’s weapon-belt—
blazing diamonds on dark cloth.

We lean back, reclining on gravel
and grass, looking up
from our small place in the cosmos,
our necks so bent
on looking down

we strain
and blink in wonder

onyx eyes widen to let in light.

A smear of star-milk spills
across the jeweler’s mat, absorbs,
spills again with grains
that disappear.

Accustomed to staring
at mica screens in our hands,
we are overwhelmed
to feel held
in the Jeweler’s vast palm.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 1