The slim crescent of an early
moon lifts between ribs of winter
trees. Appearing as clear
as any pressed silk-screen image
might if backed by black
cloth, the night sky’s new imprint
of stars is now spreading
overhead, its slow swirl of constellations
already showing, coiled
above that dark square of bare ground
where a few months ago
our back-yard garden flowers had grown.
Last night, a moonless sky
was crowded with clouds the color
of ash passing low aloft,
snow blowing all about below those
gray shapes as they moved
through until morning, closing off
that arrangement of stars still
lighting the other side of the horizon.
Edward Byrne has had five collections of poetry published, most recently East of Omaha (Pecan Grove Press, 1998) and Tidal Air (Pecan Grove Press, 2002). His poems have also appeared in numerous literary journals, including American Literary Review, American Poetry Review, American Scholar, The Literary Review, Missouri Review, North American Review, Quarterly West, and Southern Humanities Review. He is a professor in the English Department at Valparaiso University, where he also edits Valparaiso Poetry Review.