image via Wikimedia Commons
Like stars that neither rise nor set,
I stay up at all hours lately.
Not every day, not circling endlessly,
but tonight I watch the Big Dipper
in solidarity. Awake in day and night.
The circumpolar Big Dipper and the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia circle around Polaris, the North Star, in a period of 23 hours and 56 minutes. The Big Dipper is circumpolar at 41 degrees north latitude, and all latitudes farther north.
I can recall my son’s sleepy hair
soft from his blanket in early mornings
and warm where I press my hand
as he twitches lightly in a dream –
but I was there. I was there.
The red Japanese maple outside my window
dropped all its leaves and accepted winter.
Inside, its bonsai brethren is holding on
to what we call spring, winter, summer.
It knows two seasons – awake and asleep.