A Thousand Miles Of Stars by Walt McDonald

By Walt McDonald

A few of the elegance all of us desire A West Texas starscape, attractive by means of any degree, is emblematic of Walt McDonald’s plains. A lifelong get together culminates during this, his best—and maybe last—collection of latest poems. At seventy, the poet affirms, we are living via the secret of grace at the same time we watch conventional stars blink out at sunrise. For he believes "God is familiar with we're dirt / and counts our steps." In "Leaving the center Years," he writes, "At our age, / each day is grace and each breath / a blessing. existence is grass, stunningly short / yet plentiful in such a lot of ways." Walt writes approximately heroes—a mom who taught tumbling; friends and family long past to warfare; the courageous at domestic who heal or console; others who rescue from warfare zones as many teenagers as they could. Heroes, too, are these whose constancy and pleasure locate faces in those poems. observing crows at sunrise in Montana, a husband thinks of his spouse within their mountain cabin: If Ursula reveals extra grey she’ll move on buzzing, understanding it’s ok, our youngsters 3 thousand miles away yet effective, once they referred to as final evening. She comes open air with espresso, remaining the door so softly even the crows don’t cease.

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I attacked two stairs at a time, always the clown, half-Joseph, half-Romeo to her one of a kind—Behold, my leap and shuffle said, this dreamer comes. And she, blue-eyed and dazzling, unhooked and tugged at her left glove, then let me take her hand, both hands, and it was true, she had no ring. After giddy hellos and hugs, after the opera started and the lobby cleared and it was obvious even to ushers she was the mother-to-be of our children—grimly, digging for cigarettes, Biff or Lance went down the stairs.

She huddled at night in the cold, December wind so loud she heard the devil at the door, ripping the roof. Storms made her fear flying forever. She grieved for me in pilot training, hanging a Gold Star already in her heart. She believed I’d crash, cursed wild Ohio boys who tinkered with wings and rudders, nothing safe [ 43 ] at Kill Devil Hills, not even the ocean Grandfather fished, his rod bent double with mullet, supper for children forever hungry. All year, he brought home oysters and sea trout, conchs and starfish as toys, until the sudden December storm when his trawler and a dozen other boats went down.

Doves coo like slow maple syrup over Willie Nelson’s twang on the radio. Rocket attacks came back last night, crackling like static from Saigon. In the shower, I throw my head back and shout old bawdy squadron songs, no one to stop me. I try to wash it down the drain, memories of sausage in the mess hall after the night’s attack, more bodies in the morgue, somebody splattering catsup over eggs and steak, pumping up for battle, hot food to die for, Billy Joe and the Outlaws blasting songs on the jukebox, fat cooks shouting and big lids slamming down.

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