Missing Stars

Guarding the sea-turtle nests
Alongside strangers
Under a full moon in the still air of midsummer
About the time the turtles should hatch
We look into the starlit sky
Curving around us like so many distant conversations
Too far away for us to hear
And note that missing
Is the Big Dipper.

We wonder where it went.

There, after all, is the Little Dipper and,
There, the North Star.

So where is it?

Like small children who believe in a divine plan,
We wonder who took it away,
And then we forget about it.

Believers in something,
We wait for the turtles,
Ready to guide them into the sea,
To life inside a deep mystery
Amid other conversations we will never hear,

According to plan.

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