Piece of the Sky

I often hear it said that parents ‘…would give their child the moon and the stars…’

My father did.

Piece of the Sky

I will never forget
late on a summer evening
deep in the humming heart of science
my father, master of machines
said “Come here,
I want to show you something.”

With careful hands
he took a small wooden box
from a locked cabinet
and opened it, carefully
so carefully,
like a priest.

Inside the box,
inside a glass jar,
perched on a wire,
was a stone
more a cinder, really.

Removing the glass
he plucked it free
and told me to hold out my hand.
“Be careful, don’t drop it” he ordered
as he placed it in my palm.

As I inspected this nondescript clinker
he said
matter of factly,
“That’s a piece of the moon.”
Just able to realize what it was
I goggled in awe
at the wonder of it.

Now, in the night
looking up at that gleaming coin
sliding through the clouds,
I realize what he gave me that night,
most precious of all,
respect.

MDW 7/98

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