Five Starsby Meg Weston
I’m hoarding gold these days
the backlit leaves of maple and oak
clinging to branches before the wind
pries them loose and strips
the color from the sky.
I’m grasping the last light of each day
before we change the clocks and it’s dark
in the afternoon, and dark when I awake.
I’m trying to hitch a ride on the tail
of our sun 93 million miles away.
I just found out that my father’s cousin
had five children who perished
in the holocaust. No names on the family tree,
just five small asterisks. My father never told us.
Like a hit and run driver this news crashes
into my world leaving me bewildered, searching
for buried names in the fallen leaves.
I think of the teenager Greta who is taking us to task
for robbing her of her future, valuing the pursuit of gold
more than the preservation of the wild, plundering
the Amazon rainforest, ploughing under our primeval
forests, leaving a desiccated inheritance
the missing trees that should belong to her
this wobbling planet that gives
me such moments of joy
seeing gold in the maple leaves.
I’m clinging to the fading light
knowing darkness will fall
hoping it will be illuminated
by at least one star
but I’m wishing for five stars
full of hope
for the futures
of all those children.
* * * * *
Weston’s poetry expresses her passion for geological processes that shape the earth and stories that shape our lives. Her obsession with volcanoes can been seen in photographs on her website www.volcanoes.com. After receiving an MFA in Creative Writing in creative non-fiction from Lesley University in 2008, she's studied the craft of poetry and her poems have been published in The Goose River Anthology, Red Fez, and The Mountain Troubadour. Her poem, Her Skates, received an award in the 2021 Carol Lee Vail Poetry contest from The Vermont Poets Society. Weston is the co-founder of The Poets Corner www.thepoetscorner.org.