Perseid Meteor Shower by Carol Thornton

Poem title: Perseid Meteor ShowerPoet name: Carol Thornton Poem: The earth hurtles through a cloud of ancient dust with its parvenu companions, SAR-Lupe, Echelon. Hunched tiny in our place, we flee the city’s glow. Freeland will be dark. I navigate the curves, hedgerow fingernails scraping the passenger door. The church’s bells toll ten. I spread the sleeping bag between two leaning monuments. Pipistrelles in their juddering flight are black against the sky, the tower their radiant. The grass resists as I lie back, my feet pointed at the south horizon. My son right-angled to me, his head resting warm on my belly. We find Aldebaran, Cassiopeia, finally pick out Perseus. From the Yeoman pub, wee-wah as a car sets its alarm and a woman’s laughing echo. Stars dance in and out of view at the edge of vision, each one vanishing the moment it’s sought. The sky darkens and the cold seeps in. “A satellite! I found it myself.” His voice rich. Vanishing sparks radiate from Perseus. Then the slow brilliant arc of an earth-grazer and my son’s indrawn breath reverberating through us. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Carol Thornton Previously published in Contains Small Parts, Pen & Inc Press, Norwich, UK, 2003. Carol Thornton grew up in Eagle Valley, Alberta, on the farm her great-grandfather homesteaded in 1905. She moved to Saskatchewan and explored writing at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, Fort San and was on the founding board of Sage Hill Writing Experience. She moved to the UK in 1999, studied Creative Writing at Oxford and was granted an MA from the University of East Anglia. Her poetry and short stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada, England, Ireland, the USA and Romania (in translation), and won several competitions, and a radio play was broadcast on CBC Radio. Her book, Writer on Fire: Poetry Prompts to Ignite the Poet Within was recently published. Carol returned to Alberta in 2014. She’s a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, inScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, and Writers on Fire writing group. She lives and writes in Canmore in the Rocky Mountains.