North Star

by Matt Shaw

It's a myth, you know, that it doesn't move.

I've seen it chase the sun,

Cry “Rally!” as it bowed its head,

Charged onward, West, and raged above

The amber glow of coldest night.


These nights I feel I'm three miles tall.

I watch the world aloft, hear nothing

Save the ancient mechanism droning,

The very sound that Nothing heard

When God did Nothing first create.


I am bound by this robe

That lets me go no higher than this ceiling,

That catches doors as I escape,

That trips my feet up as I run,

That will not doff, but only don until

I separate myself from earth,

And frigid wind peels back the day.

The robe, it latches onto nature's breath

To sail me as the star cries “Rally!”


I've seen it chase the sun to bed,

Heard it call. And for my part

I have obeyed, though threads are nasty things

That snag and pull and tear the cloth

And will not let me be.