For Karen, As Starlight Fades Away



Every seventy-five years the world has looked

Into the skies to trace its path

The comet the comet

From deeps of space unknown

Unsearched unplumbed

It races at speed to kiss the sun and shine

A brief and pale light upon our world


A lump of ice that flames beneath the sun's caress

It plunges headlong in to touch

To be as one with solar love

(And O the glory of that approach

Streaming passion and fire across the heavens)


            but lovers down below be sure of this

            the comet earns alas the briefest kiss

            he whirls around the sun then thrown away

            he flies again back outbound cold and grey


And you my darling whose proximity

Evokes in me the mortal fires of love

I see the orbit marked just so

Inexorably before me

And so perhaps we'll meet in eighty-five

            to mourn a love that is no more alive

            and touch our lips and look up to the sky

            to consummate the comet's passing by


                                                                        Christopher J. Cramer

                                                                        November 10, 1983