We are shaped by what we choose not to do

They stay
fear of unknown nibbles them
I leave
after vespers her vast hand
flings a torch they will never see
I leave
a pulse of need whips through me.
I stake my claim in nocturne sky
They stay
squint at constellations
wonder about me their Gulliver friend
traipsing around Orion
wild rides in the Dipper
I leave
hear cosmic language of Wise Men
They stay
imagine games children play up here
I leave
swim in glimmering molecules
dive backwards to Genesis
They stay
their angled gazes entertained
by starry jugglers tumblers
swallowers of flame
I leave
tightrope walk from star to star
They stay
peer up into the night drunk with brilliance.
I peer down behold vastness
earth and sky one perfect geography.
They stay
nostalgic to go to where
they have never been but
quickly ostrich their migratory desires
think they fix a gaze on me but
morning sun erases my luminous abode
I am indistinct as a phantom

Marianne taught music for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong, she returned to the Napa Valley. She is been published in The RavensPerch, TWJM Magazine, Earth Daughters, and Indiana Voice Journal among others. She was nominated for the Pushcart prize in 2017. She is a member of the California Writers Club and Adjunct Professor at Touro University, California.