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A Memory of the Greatest Cost
by El Colonel
Like my father, I prefer the shade of trees,
White pine, red oak that mark the steepest grades,
Spruce and hemlock stands that still the breeze,
Fiery maples stunted in the glades,
Where clouds, complicit with the trees and never far,
Shield us from the insistent light of stars.
No respite here beneath a desert sky.
Near cloudless blue; at dusk, red, violet, pink.
Drawn to the fading light, a butterfly;
Below, a cactus flower; he stops to drink.
Unseen, a lonely, mournful sage grouse sings.
Above, an owl slips past on silent wings.
Rafts of stars emerge, my count soon lost.
So old, I’m told, that many don’t exist,
Just light, a memory of the greatest cost.
This seems so strange to me, hard to dismiss.
These stars, extinct, and yet they still glow bright
And I am captivated by the light.