Stars of Alaska

The Stars of Alaska

He wrote the message of his death 
on the cold concrete of a step. 
In blood and dying’s greasy sweat, 
in the grim realisation of ending, 
the sensation of a heart not pounding 
and he thought 
then in that 

           10 seconds. 
     A boy on a farm 
with a wasted arm from birth. 
Mother gone with his withered limb
         to the stars of Alaska so his father said.

                          9. 8. 7 seconds. 
          A man with one arm working a farm, 
living day to day with banks to pay and no pay for himself. 
And a wife grown old and mean on lean 
     and shattered dreams. Leaves. Dead 
              and gone. Away to the stars 
                               of Alaska.
They say.

                                                  6.5.4 seconds. 
                                     Eviction and conviction, six months
                              in the pen with brutal men and gentle men 
                                     in cages. Ages from eighteen to eighty.
                                             No hope for an ex-con with one arm on 
the streets and winters 
coming on. May as well be gone
          to the stars of Alaska

3. 2 seconds. 
Home in a door way, 
move on when the cops say 
everyday its getting tougher.          Weather
getting rougher  spirit cracking under the weight. 
Yearning of late for the stars of Alaska

1 second. 
A lady bends down. He hears her voice. 
What’s that he says.
                            Come away baby boy.             
                 You’ve done your time 
for the crime of birth. 
Your done with pain and done with earth. 
Come away to the stars of Alaska

Where too the small boy asks at last 
              and the lady points to the night sky as she takes his hand
          they fly free and high. 
Just those two on the journey 
        life on the glittering path 
             to the twinkling stars of Alaska.

© Dave Kavanagh @

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