Feb 6, 2009

Twilight Sky, E.R.Winkler

Twilight Sky
By Elaine R. Winkler

With the temperature hovering
around 32 degrees,
we don down coats, hoods, and
gloves. We're out the back door
into the penetrating cold
of a November evening,
breath frosty and visible,
to tiptoe across
grooved pavers

until there’s a clear view
of the sky above the trees,
check the time
on lighted watches,
verify it’s a bit early
for the 5:55 sighting.
I am certain
about the time, but unsure
which direction
to focus our eyes:
is it east, northeast?
To the south, impossible

to miss Venus, brilliant
this time of year.
Below it, a lesser star.
Eyes still directed south,
a light appears, moving
for a few seconds--
then gone behind a thin veil
of cloud. Is that it?
Distracted for a moment
by flashing lights
of an airplane, then turn
eyes east,
and yes-- there it is
for sure-- a pale light gliding
north for a few short seconds,
then out of range.
Chilled but satisfied,
for a brief interval
we have observed Mir,
not a star of the Milky Way,
but a man-made spaceship
with humans, like us, aboard.