Observatory and Other Poems

(C) 2014 Adam Holt Writes

On the warm hood of the Pontiac
I lace my fingers behind my head
and sink into autumn air.
My father does the same.
I feel his voice through the hood
as it stretches to the stars.

My father tells me
looking into the night sky is looking back into time itself,
that the light we see from the stars
is not as it is but as it was
a thousand generations ago.
My mind wobbles under the sparkling black dome,
revels in incomprehensible glory.

I am seven.
I want to understand.

I look at the sky but really I watch him watch the sky,
feel the rumble of his voice in the hollow of my chest
and the hollows beneath the Pontiac’s hood.
I wonder into him:
what makes a man see the ever-present past?
What is time in the presence of ever-arriving light?
Here, in this momentlessness, time unhinges.
My father becomes the million year old starlight,
and I have never aged since.

Somewhere in the dark Houston night
we both still lie-with laced fingers-on a rusty hood,
a thousand generations beside us
all naming the long-dead, ever-living stars.

Here I am:
seven forever,
still wanting to understand.