Shooting Star
Denton Loving

   A star shoots through the darkened
            sky as I watch from a rocking chair
                        on my front porch. My friend Michael

blows smoke into the darkness as we
            listen to the radio stream from central
                        Florida, to Lyle Lovett croon about flying

shoes and the Black Lillies tell us there’s
            only one.  There, in the sunshine state,
                        our friend Mark is the DJ. Between songs,

he says the salty Atlantic air is lovely
            though we know how much he misses
                        these Tennessee mountains he can’t see

disappear into evening. The October night
            is moonless and cooler than we are used to,
                        but we intend to star gaze, to let the crisp

start of autumn wash over us, cleanse us
            like the dew.  We count air planes and jetliners,
                        at least twelve in the past half hour, so high

in their silent slide through the sky.  Across
            the drive, the cattle lie in the pasture and chew
                        their cud.  They don’t need words to welcome

the change in weather, the end of sweltering
            summer days.  They are near enough to hear
                        the music, to hear me say, Look, a shooting star! 

but they don’t look up, don’t care at all
            about celestial objects entering the atmosphere,
                        about signs from heaven.  What do lowing beasts

care that some rock has fallen and burned
            to its end? But Michael and I watch, replay
                        its final flight in our memories.  We drink

our beer in long, slow pulls, wish again
            to see this light from heaven, as though
                        the path might prove the destination.

Return to Spring 2013 Table of Contents