Two Poems by Margaret King

When We Could Still See the Stars

When we could still see the stars

The focus & center of our gravity was higher

Than ourselves.

Ancient peoples looked up--

So much that they ordered constellations,

Gods, legends, lore, creation stories.

If the Star of Bethlehem shone tonight,

Could we even see it?

Man, in limitless hubris, wanted to outshine the stars

Mistaking his blindness for progress, he

Lit up night skies across the world & shut our eyes to wonder

And those who didn’t follow

Were the ones deemed “in the dark.”

But I feel

When man stopped looking up,

He could no longer see beyond himself.

So filled with self-importance,

We can no longer see the stars our ancestors did,

Robbed of our inheritance,

Have to travel to far-flung “dark sky parks”

To see creation’s own birthright.

But “dark skies” are really the bright skies

That have been stolen from us--and from the birds--

Who fly to their deaths into windows

Mistaking electric lights for moon & stars--

And from the circadian-disrupted animals

Trapped on this earth under man

Because we try to convince them

There’s no higher power

Than the destruction we enact on them.

The universe contains 1 septillion stars--

Yes, that’s a real number!--But how

Many of them can you see?

They downed out the stars

To make it seem

We are the center

Of the universe.

Women of a Certain Age

Women of a certain age share their knowledge,

like Maya and Toni

Women of a certain age carry themselves with grace

like Meryl and Diane

Women of a certain age have smiles

that the worthy easily coax out

Women of a certain age have done things with their bodies

That others haven't thought up yet

Women of a certain age have smiles

That are to be envied

Women of a certain age are storytellers

We try to silence

Because our culture wants to pretend

We don't get old

Women of a certain age are paintings

We try to curtain off

Women of a certain age

Embrace their style

Women of a certain age know

They can still be hurt, but only if they allow it

Like Hillary and Mia

Women of a certain age are confident in their place

Which is the seat of respect, of their own fashioning

Women of a certain age are generous mentors

Like Anne and Kate

Women of a certain age

Have some to do with age, some to do with experience,

And a lot to do with knowing

Women of a certain age know

that years and wrinkles and laugh lines are blessings

Women of a certain age

remember their fallen sisters

And carry on

For them, and for those

Still living

Well into a certain age.

Margaret King is a Wisconsin writer who enjoys penning poetry, short stories, and young adult novels. In her spare time, she likes to haunt the shores of Lake Michigan, similar to many of her fictional characters. She has forthcoming work out in Unlost Journal and Moonchild Magazine, and recently was featured on Déraciné Magazine's website.

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