On his birthday, three decades after his death,
my father’s soul feels so far off—lost.
I wrote his other child, though we rarely met.
She said she thought of him too, on Ayers Rock—
his memory still encircled the earth
a hundred years after his birth.
The one gift I know his two daughters share,
the one light that reaches from here to there,
he taught me at night on our back lawn,
great Orion, killed by his own love.
Dad showed me the nova where new stars form,
his blue knee, Rigel, and Betelgeuse above—
it’s dying, but the emptiness is so vast
we will feel nothing of its shattering blast.
If I could grasp the distance of that star,
would the dark years between us feel so far?