I know the constellations

My father taught me their names. Orion the hunter. His jewelled belt, three bright stars together. The easiest to find, my father said. Behind Orion, Sirius. The twins, Castor and Pollux. He bent down. Pointed. Told me stories. We take the narrow road through the desert, turn towards Elephant Rock. Watch the colours fade from gold, pass round small crescent-shaped biscuits. Tonight there is no moon, the desert quiet, each breath a whisper. The brightness of planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Venus. Milky Way. Orion, Cassiopeia. Falling stars so close I could reach out, cup one in my hand, and run to my father with unfurling fingers crying, "See what I have brought you."
Marjory Woodfield
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