“Stars” by Joy Manning

Photo by Jeff Nissen on Pexels.com

I arise from hollow sleep
this premature hour
and step outside where sky clings
to its tar-black cover
and moon’s lid tucks tight
in a curve of sliver-light.

Cold smacks my cheeks,
drawing out my heart’s tears;
its icy fingers seep through skin,
pressing my frame’s ache within
then pulling my face toward night
that darkens against stars’ blaze

Their declaration flickers loud
over these blackest of hours,
calling, calling to earth…

These are the voices I heard
that stirred my soul from sleep,
they sparkle the firmament,
throbbing their ancient story
that flashes rapture,
and shimmers lament

I recall every star is summoned
by name to its own place—
each one known,
crafted for its course
and spoken aflame

The flare of their tale flickers
the awakening hour
I inhale, and the night’s tar lifts
into the deep,
then melts shades of blue…

Stars’ speech slowly fades
but remains my mind’s refrain;
I breathe the scent of morning,
the dew on dim hues

My eyes embrace a dawn
that bleeds violet and ruby;
my soul cries muted mourning,
pulsing with these colors
calling up raw hope

Upon my weeping heart,
the day arrives
I lift my head and watch
star’s journey ignite

Joy Manning

Photo by Joy Manning

Joy Schelzel Manning is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband of thirty-two years. She is a mother of three, has been a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse, a museum docent, and currently volunteers at the Lancaster Museum of Art.


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