ORION IN DECEMBER
My grandfather is a giant of a man, big bones, big voice, big heart. Last December we sat under the pink sky and watched the stars come in. Nine years of absence coalesced into that minute, that second. He pointed to Orion in the night sky, soft voiced he told my sisters and I how our ancestors, the Maasai followed the stars to rainy seasons, followed the heavens to water.
We sat on the side of a tarmac road riddled with open holes and stared at the same vast existence that his father, and his father before had read with unerring precision, how they mapped out seasons according to stars and the open sky.
In that sliver of time, caught between full light and full dark my bones melted against my skin. To know that last century, last millennia, a small epoch in this corner of earth my grandfather (a hundred generations ago, and a hundred more) stood open face to the dark sky and followed the three spiked belt to water, to dry land, to blood, to earth, followed Orion home.
By N.L. Shompole
N.L. Shompole was born in Kenya and currently lives, works and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area California. Her previous works have been featured in Maps for Teeth, Kinfolks Quarterly, Invitation Annual and most recently Words Dance Publishing as well as Vagabond City Literary Journal. She has authored four poetry collections including one chapbook Cassiopeia at Midnight and Anatomy of Surrender, a compilation of poems from a yearlong poetry project completed in December 2014. Her latest collection Spectre Specter Blue Ravine was released November 2015 to spectacular reviews.
She can be reached at NLShompole@gmail.com
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