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