Poetry: Blinkers

I wrote another constraint poem. A friend at a workshop provided the limitations. Must use a child’s POV, describe

the night sky, and never use an explicit color word. Describing the sky without using a color challenged me, but it taught me that good imagery relies on my readers’ imaginations, less on  me telling them what to imagine. The Show not Tell rule strikes again. 


Dad told me where stars
come from. When little boys free
fireflies from mayonnaise jars to make
embers beneath maple trees,
blinkers watch the stars through sleeping leaves.

What no one knows is
Stars ain’t stars. They’re fireflies that followed dreams.

The blinkers we watch,
while chickens rustle in their coops,
build courage to climb moonlight.

When two get ready, they blink goodbyes then light
rises, compass points in a blind sky.

When dawn balloons behind the quarry ridge,
when morning swells to noon,
after day deflates to night, search twilight,
Dad says. You’ll
know if two dreamers made it.


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