They say it’s distance – the stars so far,
the planets near – the weak light bending
as it hits the atmosphere, and the planets
lacking their own light, instead reflecting
the strong light of the sun.
Weakness and distance, creating the
shimmer that has enchanted lovers and
philosophers, farmers and kings… still
the light flickers at us down below
as the steady planets shine constant.
On my street, a neighbor yells his dog
in for the night, and another annoys
the entire street with his daily leaf-
blower ritual, while cars wend home
from work and dogs are walked
for the last time of the day, as our star
shines around the other side, leaving us
in shadow. Weakness and distance, they say
which I think is wrong. The light that
comes from such singular distance has
the strength of persistence and endurance,
light bent by the strength of atmosphere,
but not broken. While below, neighbors
watch each other, alert for any sign of
need which they can help to ease.
Judith McKenzie is a recent winner in the Cunningham Short Story Contest and Tillie Olsen Short Story Contest. Her poems have been published in Poetic Bond X, Tishman Review, Rogue River Review, Mountains and Lake, Wild Roof Journal, Sad Girls Club, Halcyone Magazine, Scribd and others.