All the Teaming Herds


All the Teaming Herds

My grandfather, Russell Jackson
Smith turned 133 this year—

he’s dead, of course, but still
so young by cosmic standards.

For example, the farther we look
into the universe we find

light so old it makes us shiver
with the cold thrill of space,

much like Hubble felt in 1922
on top of Mount Wilson

observing the pulse of Andromeda’s
Cepheid Variables, proving

what seemed nebulous was not
and no part of our own

Milky Way. The world is big,
and bigger still when we leave,

as my grandfather did
April 1st of ’48, standing

by the washed-out bridge
over Lost Creek, wondering

about his fields and crops,
remarking how the bream

were teaming in bright-scaled
herds through the opaque

waters when the vessel burst
in his head like a failing star.


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