A Winter Poem


Orion’s low in the eastern sky.

The moon is full,
and bright,
and high.

Winter settles in for the night.
Christmas trees reflect the starlight:

Silver and white.
Silver and white.


I wrote this poem on December 2, 2009. The image above is not my own, but shows the constellation Orion in the center, with Sirius–the eye of his dog, Canus Major–glowing brightly just to the left of center.

My children know that I love the constellation of Orion. High and clear in the sky during the winter (in North America), sometimes, I think he watches over my family and I from the Eastern sky in the evening, and continues his night-long toil until I see him setting in the Western sky the next morning.

Orion reminds me of my father, and the great conversations we had, late in the evenings, and early in the mornings (headed to seminary and school) on the sidewalk between the arborvitae trees lining the driveway and the front porch of the Merrill homestead on Fall Creek in Indianapolis.

Those were the years I learned to love astronomy, and appreciate the friendship of a father.


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