Riding the Shoulder of Orion


Orion is slinging his leg over the horizon about the time I step out to walk the dogs. He is huge, leaning next to the horizon.

Last spring, he left like the loner riding into the sunset. He became swollen like a sun running out of fuel. I missed our evenings, though sometimes I’d catch his eye before dawn.

I rode those shoulders once last winter, but only let him lift me as high as an aerial photo. As he stood up, the farm receded. Night barked when I dropped his leash.

Orion’s shoulders burned under my thighs. Frightened by that naked height, I screamed. Even though he is a hunter, even though his belt is buckled and stern, he gently set my feet down. There just might be something to the idea the universe longs to help us.

I am no longer startled by him standing in front of our porch, his hand reaching down, to lift me to his shoulders.

I know … this sounds imaginary, crazy; but the world is so full of wonder, it might do us all good if we reached for Orion’s hand, or took a sip from the Big Dipper or even just touched a tree gone quiet for winter, and let them lift us, into terror maybe, into a new perspective, into joy.

If you’d like to listen to my reading this on WNIJ click here.


  • A good incentive to look up once in awhile.

    • katiewilda says:

      Yes it sure is…and to get away from city lights..When we first moved here, the sky was nearly as deep and dark as in the Adirondacks. We could see the bubbles in the Milky Way. It’s not quite so much now with neighbor’s floodlights.