Three stars in a row point north
to the Pole. The Dipper scoops up
the darkness of our eyes and pours it
through the branches of a maple
as we stand in the driveway in raveled moccasins,
craning to the night.
When I was a schoolgirl,
the nuns lined us up like little stars.
We trooped on the subway,
across Central Park to the Planetarium
where we swung our saddle shoes
back and forth in upholstered mystery,
gathering the dark in our upturned faces
as the narrator, a disembodied encyclopedia of space,
connected the constellations with white lines.
–excerpt from “Light Years” in Jumping Off the Train by Donna Pucciani (Orchard House Press 2007). First published in Salamander.