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Author: Cory Thomas Hutcheson
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Cory Thomas Hutcheson holds a degree in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He has had work published in Merge Poetry Review and Dicey Brown. He has a lovely and wonderful wife, a circle of dear friends, and a lot of books left to read in his life. He happily resides in Prague with his wife, where he teaches English.



Constellations

Orion, like an old friend, is out tonight.
I miss him during the summer months, and
in autumn's apple-crisp nights I adore those great
starry arms, expansive and full of echoes like
an empty library.
I think how brilliant were the ancient Greeks
and Egyptians, naming companions in the night sky
so they would never have to walk home alone.
Were forests taller then, when eyes cast up
past the shaggy heads of trees to seek a familiar
face?

Stars seem more distant now, with those leafy giants
gone victims to a cancer of hands. Old friends in a
night sky come like
overseas postcards, just a reminder that they are
there,
and gosh, what fun it is, wish you could be here, too.
Did Socrates know his civilization would fall
while those distant compatriots played their heavenly
games,
pretending to be horses or dragons?
Was Nero merely playing a serenade to Seven Sisters,
reminding them in the light of a great campfire that
he, too, was there?
I think how foolish Cleopatra and Plato must have
been,
not to spend more evenings with their starry friends,
rather than playing their dramas of politics and
philosophy.

Separation comes and keeps coming,
and those old friends we have known since the
footpaths of night
were first in memory write less frequently.
All we leave is music around tiny fires,
offerings of marshmallows and chocolate
to replace fat and bone.
But somewhere in distant memory, I can almost hear
Prometheus gently humming a Joni Mitchell song:
"Don't know what you've got till it's gone," he sings,
and Orion comes back to me, a tearful embrace
before sailing out to China on his summer break from
hunting.







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