Star SearchLaying on top of a sleeping bag with a soft plaid interior,
No tent between the stars and the freshly mowed lawn,
With no street lights down the gravel avenue,
Off the side of a side street off Johnny Creek Road,
The dark stained redwood sided house blocked city lights.
The gentle slope of the hillside and the dew-damp grass
Would make the synthetic-filled bag, pulled by gravity,
Slowly creep down to the pungent purple lilac bushes below.
An overweight cat circled around the boy and bag
Leaning his black and white head aside,
Brushing his cheeks on the edges and arms
With a loud purr that vibrated his entire head
And a swish of the tail starting at the base
And snapping like a whip to its very end.
Insects that had been loudly proclaiming
Their reproductive interests now sit silent.
Birds who were sharing stories of flights and fancies,
Now curled up in the tall tree nests for the evening,
A distant owl hoot slips through the cedar trees
Accompanied by a cool breeze
Floating down from the mountain above.
The stars’ brilliance flickering through the darkness
Revealing constellations of archers, horses, and bears.
The boy searched the skies above for falling stars,
Imagining the near miss landing in faraway oceans.
Occasionally he’d see lights crossing above
He guessed were helicopters, airplanes, or maybe
Apollo astronauts preparing to go to the moon.
Until one night, the lights swept low and stopped,
Then suddenly shifted in another direction, paused,
Then flew away across the southern mountain range.
Night after night all summer long he rolled out his bag
Searching skies for asteroids, astronauts and airplanes,
Hoping, but never again seeing, the unidentified lights.
When the dark was finally shattered by sunlight,
He tightly rolled up the bag just as his father taught.