Tuesday 13 December 2022

Oh My Stars

by Dagne Forrest

“Oh my stars” says one of my dearest friends,
and I love this. Even when I fail to see them,
they are my stars. Even when I cannot see them
– because I forget my glasses, or clouds
obscure them, or I forget to look up,
they are still my stars, her stars, the stars
of anyone who spends their days beneath them.
There when we need them, there when we don’t.

There is nothing controversial about stars,
even flat-earthers corral them in a dome
above the disc they call Earth, which makes
me think a flat-earther might have invented
snow globes. What does it matter if some believe
stars are just pinpricks of light showing
through a holy cloth or a prop on a darkened stage?
We step outside and they simply are.

My friend and I are so far apart, a whole
continent sprawls, complex, between us –
and it’s blanketed by stars we both see
and fail to see, most of which we can’t name.
Recalling that we both exist under that same dome
seems important somehow, as does knowing
those ancient candles still seem to burn
even without the oxygen of our attention.

* * * * *

Dagne Forrest's poetry has appeared in journals in Canada, the US, Australia, and the UK. In 2021 she was one of 15 poets featured in The League of Canadian Poets’ annual Poem in Your Pocket campaign, had a poem shortlisted for the UK's Bridport Prize, and won first prize in the Hammond House Publishing International Literary Prize (Poetry). Her creative nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Lake Effect, Paper Dragon, and Sky Island Journal. Dagne is an editor with Painted Bride Quarterly, as well a part of its Slush Pile podcast team. Learn more at dagneforrest.com.

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