Dillon, Montana

I have a note in my pocket from my husband,
“Meteor shower… midnight-dawn tonight. Perseus?”
How often is a person in Montana in the middle of August
During a meteor shower…
Walking out the front door
Into a jolt of cold air
We hear sharp, insistent barking
As the collie alerts the other two.
The retriever sniffs us once
Then turns back towards the front yard and interrupted dreaming.
The black lab, Juice, stays with us, a genial host, and we walk
Past the barn with its bright beacon of light,
Dirt and gravel make soft, crunching noise under our feet.
We lean in towards each other, strides matching,
And make our way in the dark towards the sluice.
The air smells fresh, like nothing, until the smells of grass
And hay and horses and fresh water single themselves out.
The sky is completely clear, stars are everywhere.
“Stars are the holes in the sky where the souls of the dead
Passed through to be with the Great Spirit.”
In this field, on this night, this is the only truth present
For the vast array of tiny pinpricks of light.
The night sky, not as at home,
Coming down in a quiet, comforting blanket of darkness,
But always present as a veil, a stick-on covering that could be peeled away for the great wonder behind it.
My husband sees a gazillion shooting stars. I see three, maybe four,
Until we both see one long, trailing flash of brightness that arcs
Without end into the dark.
We turn round and slowly make our way back
To dreaming dogs and warm blankets and two little blonde headed
Softly snoring cowgirls
Enveloped by the softly lit indigo sky.


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