by Larry Kimmel

In his ninety-third year he complained of seeing only one star in the sky at night, saying that it was "a sign of the last days," there being only one star in the heavens at night.

"No, Dad," his youngest daughter would say, "It's only your eyes."

But he was not persuaded and would go off to find his dime store glasses, go off to the dining room to read the news by yellow lamplight, while Nora graded papers on the kitchen table, as she had for thirty years.  This was in harvest time and the evening star was Venus.

Winter wrapped them warm around the wood fueled range and when the crocuses peeped above the drab grass once more, he again took up his post on the porch at dusk, and with it his same complaint of two seasons past.

"It's your eyes, Dad."

But "no," it was "a sign," he'd say.  And in a wayŚ

What difference to the man who encounters a sign, if the letters are painted on or all but the letters are painted on?  The sign still read the same.  Still reads the same.

wild geese overhead
where the homestead stood
only grass

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