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  • Writer's picturePenny Harter


Here's another star-lit poem journey. A slightly earlier version appears in my collection Turtle Blessing (again o/p but available on my website).

The Way Home

There is a way home. It runs through the cornfields beneath the stars, rises like a river to wash the apple trees below the barn. If you are careful you will not disturb the snakes who curl in the tall weeds beside the grassy path your feet have known.

Sometimes in the distance you will see the others, silhouettes on moonlit hills carrying hoes over their shoulders, returning from their fields even as you go to yours, sure-footed as a goat down the stubbled rows toward sleep.

When you climb to the graveyard on the hillside, stop among the old ones, lie down on the earth with your head in the shadows the moon throws between tombstones and begin to count the stars in the Milky Way.

You will run out of numbers. You will run out of words. You will forget how to talk to the sky. You will forget where you have come from, or where you are going.

You will only know that you are light among the stars, that cornfields spiral out from you on every side, shining corn as far as you can see— even over the edge of the world, that dark circle you have found at last.

(c) 1996 Penny Harter in *Turtle Blessing*, (La Alameda Press)

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