It's good news for the stay-at-homes like us,
The new consensus among astronomers
That the night sky appears roughly the same
From any spot in the universe,
With roughly the same number of visible stars
At similar distances, in similar congregations.
Those who've labeled the view from Earth provincial
Turn out to be mired in provincial thinking.
Look at the star map, we'll tell them. Note
How the stars have to make do without a capital,
Without a center where all roads lead, a sun
Whose pull proves irresistible to the ambitious.
And if the stars we discern above our roof
Don't seem as numerous as we've supposed them,
We'll remind ourselves of the many more
That will show themselves when the gauzy curtain
Is drawn back, the veil of dust and ash that now
Obscures their shining. Let the day draw near
When the Milky Way, visible once again
To the naked eye, inspires a silence
Appropriate to a revelation.
Nightfall then will be all that's longed for.
The morning and afternoon of a cloudless day
Will seem to pass so slowly we'll wonder
If the stars we think we remember
Are only fancies, the dust of dreams.
But no, look up. Here they are again.
Not the End
Don't let the quarreling near the end
Convince you the breakup would have been predictable
From the beginning to somebody more insightful.
Remember that any suggestion back then
Of the actual outcome would have been swept aside
By the evidence that the joys you shared
With your beloved would prove enduring:
The joy on workdays of cooking supper together,
The joy on weekends of rambling the woods
With no agenda.
The silences weren't a sign of holding back.
They were calm and easy, your thoughts
Drifting away on a stream of association
And then returning with a sprig of woodland flowers.
Here, this is for you, each said, and meant it.
And remember the climb you loved, to the ridge,
The wide view of the valley that left you both
Feeling open to whatever the day might offer.
Don't diminish those moments now by wondering
What you could have done to make them last
Had you been attentive enough to cherish them.
You were happy back then, remember,
And knew you were happy.
What you need now isn't the work
Of regret but the work of gratitude.
And all it takes to be grateful is to feel grateful.
Go back to the beginning and embrace its bounty.
Beneath the story of cause and consequence
Another story is pointing another way.