Toward August sundown in California

my grandmotherís mirror her motherís

people brought by wagon from Arkansas

 

to New Mexico we lifted down carefully

from its nail on our small farm just south

of Fresno in the San Joaquin. Outside we

 

laid it gently in the grass so it reflected

orange, scarlet, rose, a green, last deepest

blue before the sun had forgotten Earth.

 

We watched Evening Star slant across

its flat pane as darkness flowed like ink

and stars one by one then sudden stars

 

in clusters filled the black oblong of sky

soon catching flash of meteor, blinking

red, green lights of planes and airliners

 

passing planets and nearly disappearing

in the Milky Way, captured Valley night

spread at our bare feet. We fell asleep on

 

folding chairs and in the morning turned

away from sunrise, flaring bonfire of glass

among blazing spears of lawn, and lifted

 

its golden heat and took it in and hung it

once more in its place, a basin filled with

water from a spring. The mirror accepted

 

the sofa, maple coffee table with magazines,

blue jay crossing the picture window, falling

loquat leaf, four white camellias in a crystal

 

vase until dark came on again and we sat in

the unlit living room and counted single early

stars arriving just before their constellations.