After the Storm, the Stars by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

rise from the Osage Orange, wheeling effortlessly overhead as if

nothing has changed. They shine awake in the fresh heart of the air,

cleansed free of all but wind without end, lashing leaf against leaf.


The rays of remnant clouds burn translucent, then invisible. Exposed dirt

ages in the wind. A slat from a child’s doll cradle grows into grass.

Paper from two towns away lifts to ferry important words nowhere.


The sky exhales, waits, drops to the disturbed ridge where flowers

rock upside, the rocks from elsewhere dream of the old days, and in the

off and on cadence of faraway trains, someone’s staccato cries into night


wrapped in shimmer and quiet. Tomorrow, not so far from here:

search dogs and careful lifting of sheetrock and broken furniture,

bulldozers, power saws, rented U-hauls to save, then clear, whatever’s left


Months ahead to measure what was lost, articulate the weather in numbers

and read the brail of the stories left behind. The new world not conjured

arrives here anyway, and over this sprawling tree of life, the stars.

 ~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-2013 Kansas Poet Laureate and author or editor of 16 books, including, more recently,  Needle in the Bone, and The Divorce Girl. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she offers community writing workshops widely.


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