my friend Jon

it had been years since we had spoken

the letter from his young wife

the ending of his short life

the disease I did not know

and he was gone

like the shooting stars of summer

one bright line from an old song

nine notes burned into neurons

an earworm across eons

still shining just like him


four decades since his singing

and the lineís still in my brain

how Orionís up there swinging

can I be all that remains?

was there a tape stuffed in a box somewhere

I asked his family

but the trail it went dark

I guess itís only me


so when you see

the first weeks of December

the ancient hunter rising

in the cold gray eastern sky

see him stand

and survey all creation

Ďtil Scorpio heralds springtime

and drives him from the sky


I donít complain about the weather

pr the depth of fallen snow

Iím still here to see the giant

with the dagger and a bow

itís winter and Orion is swinging around in the sky



© 2018 by Rob Siegel. All rights reserved.



01 Ė Orion

my friend Jon

we swapped songs in high school

his were always better

he was likely less depressed

there was one song

about the night sky in December

I remember only one line

Iíve forgotten all the rest


itís been 40 years this winter

since I heard him play the song

when I close my eyes I still hear

that refrain so clear and strong

soon Orion is swinging around in the sky


it was a waltz

he sang it just like I just played it

the rest of itís gone hazy

save that fragment that remains

he explained

how Orion heralds winter

how the hunter stalks the starry fox

the angles and the equinox

how he goes from reclining

to stand upright in the sky

and the stars

Betelgeuse and Rigel

and the others everybody knows

the three stars on his belt


week by week he climbs the heavens

chasing pray across the sky

Ďtil he towers in the darkness

lord of the winter night

December and Orion is swinging around in the sky


but the rest has been forgotten

oh the things I used to know

I am blessed to be the vessel

of this line dropped in the snow

Orionís march is ceaseless

but it makes for jealous men

Ďcause when our arc is over

we donít rise back up again