One Reason for Stars
Jack Butler

Stars and trouble, stars and trouble.  Walk out
from the argument, and there, beyond the light
from the kitchen window, in the cool night roll the stars.

Spit at them for how they don't help and go back in
to the sort of thing that makes you hate yourself
even more than you hate who's crying behind the door she slammed.

And twenty weeks later, beside the rattling creek,
smoke-odor sharp in the frozen air and the dark
drawn down to a knot of coals, you'll gulp the last
scalding swallow of chocolate and sock in warmly,
to listen to pine sighing its friendly, nightlong,
impersonal sigh, and stare up for an hour or two
thanking God they didn't, and couldn't, get involved.

--Originally published in Poetry

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