Tasting the Perseids
comet debris, the daily rain
of one hundred tons of meteoroids
toasted to ash,
charbroiled by the friction of air –
there it floats till water vapor
in love with dust
gathers and rains it down to earth,
where it settles into the potato rows
sifting into the soil, giving in
gradually to the lips of rootlets
and the pale potato
fruits, each plumping tuber
infused with the scent of the night sky.
On the Fourth
we watched spectacular loud fireworks
synchronized to Tchaikovsky, also loud –
candles, chrysanthemums banging
and booming over an audience of thousands.
ten chilly evenings into August,
we lie in the back yard, just the two of us
in sleeping bags
whispering, dozing, and gazing up
into black silence, hoping for a glimpse,
trace of incoming rubble,
the wreckage of other worlds, shining
as it falls,
to mingle darkly with our world’s
aura of ash and soot, our common dust.
- Margaret Holley 2015
Margaret Holley’s fifth book of poems is Walking Through the Horizon, published by University of Arkansas Press. She is the former Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College. Currently retired, she lives in Wilmington, Delaware, where she volunteers as a gallery guide at Winterthur Museum.