Christopher Henry Smith

Independent Arts Administrator

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For a Pilot

In 1991,
When the Pan Am boys closed up shop,
My pop took it hard.

He killed the television
And made his way out back
To a yard soon thick with smoke.

The night knew his mood—
Creatures kept dumb,
The moon hid behind her clouds,
I made my way out in silence.

My eyes adjusted to the black.

I discovered new shapes.

A lone turtle navigated the fence line.

In time, the clouds opened like drapes, and
Moonlight stretched out across the yard.

I wanted to set out into the black and white footage,
But I mimicked my father’s stare.

He missed the turtle and the moonlight.

The perimeter of his eyes grew grey and tense,
And I groped for words grown and comforting.

And I asked him if the moon reminded him of Granddad’s face.

And he smiled.

And that night he taught me about
The man in the moon,
And turtles,
And how he would fix the television,
And how it had felt to fly.

Austin, TX
2009

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