I stay up late and wake up early.
The evening settles across the sky.
It spreads out like a blanket,
As I sit here by my screen.
I see the night fall, I see my father,
when I was small and
sheltered from the pain.
We were standing on our porch steps,
I was looking at his silhouette.
What must be the thoughts he was thinking?
I couldn’t tell out there in the dark.
The desert crickets began their chirping.
They were some where I could not see.
The Milky Way never seemed brighter
As I stood there by his side.
He lights his pipe
I can see it glowing.
It seems to help him think.
The heat of summer
seems to linger
Though the sun has long since gone.
The neighbors with their windows open.
I can hear their living sounds.
My brother sits inside reading.
The night time chores have all been done.
Then my father starts to tell me
Where Orion rests tonight.
He moves across the southern skyways.
He fades away when the sun comes to rise.
Find him again tomorrow evening
and you’ll never be lost.
What was in his head? What was he thinking?
As we shared that silent time.
Sir Walter Raleigh filled his pipe bowl
I can smell it even now.
Back inside he tucks me in,
my big brother deep in sleep.
He makes his way to his lonely bedroom
And says “Good night” to the empty side.
San Jose, CA