For Tom Murphy
The previous owner built the observatory
and, when he sold the place to you,
donated the large telescope
to a university.
I picture students of the heavens
moving it carefully,
a sort of giant kaleidoscope,
as if afraid to shake loose
any stars still lodged inside
or rearrange captured constellations
in the wrong patterns.
Now the observatory stores firewood;
some you gathered,
some the earlier tenant left behind:
each log, its own package
of heat and light,
a small sun at the center.
I see you building a fire:
sparks escape from the logs,
climb the dark tunnel of the chimney,
seeking their place on the sky.