By: Connie Zumpf
Featured art: The House on the Edge of the Village by Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen
Today I Googlemapped your address
hoping to catch a glimpse of you.
You weren’t in the picture,
but must have been home because
your truck sat in the driveway.
It all looked calm and still—I was glad
to see the grass had been mowed
and the weeds kept at bay. I rotated
the street view to the little park
just north of your house, the one
where we walked through withered leaves
last November. You weren’t there either.
Of course I know that’s not how it works;
the satellite photo was snapped a few
years ago, a scene from your life that may
no longer be true, a moment
just now opened for me, but long ago
over for you. It’s like staring up
at the Orion Nebula at night,
its light carrying sparks of cosmic news
from 1500 years ago. Here on Earth,
the Roman Empire was crumbling
and Arthur reigned as Britain’s king,
if he ever existed at all. We only know
outer space as it was, just as I can only
measure distance and time
from the us I knew
to who we’ve become. And now
I sit in front of my window
like a God-eye peering in
on your life, hoping
to catch you from a satellite view
at some yesterday-moment
when you were nowhere in sight.
Connie Zumpf’s poetry has appeared in North American Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, The Christian Century, I-70 Review, and other publications. Her chapbook “Under This Sun” was published in March 2020 (Finishing Line Press). Zumpf is a member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, CO.