Hobble Creek Review
Report from Wyoming: Night Sky
Lift, raise, launch, propel, rocket, trigger, sling yourself out of the
dark rooms where we seek comfort and consolation. Rush from the
church foyers, the basement rooms with low ceilings, the lockers
where we try to stow our unwieldy belongings. Away from the
flickering light in the family room, from the school gymnasium, the
doctor’s office, the mortuary.
Come out into the world at night; it is arching overhead even now,
back-bending itself above you as you drain the oily dishwater from
the sink. It is battering against your rooftop, your double panes,
with its invitation.
The sky is chalked with meteors, the northern lights radiate and
undulate, and coyotes are whooping their frenzy. Hot mineral
springs steam their primordial vapors. The seven sisters have risen
over the eastern horizon, while the hunters have packed away their
long guns and headed home. The moon dresses and disrobes, or
rouges her face with the earth’s long shadow. Owls ghost the creek
bed while the deer have buckled their knees to rest their white
bellies on the ground. Rabbits at the edge of the yard have quieted.
The starlight has traveled immeasurably far to shine upon you.
Wrap yourself in wool and silk, and go out into the night.
How can we continue to quail and priss about our complaints, our
sourness, our bloat, our trouble? All the while, the elk are moving
through the lodgepoles, the snow has made a wide path for our sled,
and the sky is exploding above us. The world is active with our
healing. The heavens are dizzy with love. Let the sky send her
restoring waters down upon your face, my darling. Put on your
jacket, open the back door, and turn to the north.
Kelly Madigan Erlandson lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is the
author of Getting Sober: A Practical Guide to Making it Through the First Thirty
Days (McGraw-Hill, 2007). Her poetry and essays have appeared in such
publications as Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, and Puerto del Sol. She received a
Distinguished Artist Award from the Nebraska Arts Council in 2006.