Shooting Stars

You convinced me that the pebble in your palm

was part of a star that had fallen from the heavens

when you opened your mouth for the first time

and screamed down the gods to demand an explanation

of why you had to do this all again.

I was too young to know what you meant

when you called yourself an old soul.

Reincarnation hadn’t been covered in school,

the idea of living, dying, living, dying, living

over and over

held the same impact on my mind

as when my mother tried to explain gravity

by dropping household items

from various heights onto the kitchen floor

while telling me that it was an invisible force beneath my feet

that kept me from floating off the planet.

When I grew older

I learnt that stars did not become pebbles

and for a while I wondered if you’d meant to say it was a meteor,

a little fragment of space debris you’d discovered by accident

in a black pockmark upon your father’s perfect lawn.

It took me longer to realise there was nothing special

about the tiny grey stone you’d gripped inside your fist

whenever we’d gone anywhere beyond the timber fence

at the bottom of your garden.

Part of me wonders

if you carry it around still.

Perhaps it’s tucked inside your jacket pocket,

loose among the clutter of a rucksack,

relegated to a windowsill or mantelpiece

stuck next to photos and knickknacks from the life you’ve lived.

I wonder if it’s still part of a star to you.

Daily Prompt: Astral




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