Camping on the Edge of Forever
For HM3 Michael Dean Marconett, USN
of happy memory
Wild stars, beyond a Sterno stove’s tame glow,
We’ll live forever as we live this night:
Coffee and cigarettes and comradeship,
Our backs against the sun-warmed Sierras
As the cold falls from infinite darkness
To keep the snow in place another night,
To smile in ancient silence back at you,
To make a glowing, slumberous twilight until dawn.
Those C-rations were good after a day
Of scrambling among prehistoric rocks
Made musical by the dinosaur creek,
Water as cold as the dark end of time.
San Diego glows in the south-southwest,
Silently, inefficiently, light lost.
But you, wild, happy star, will still shine down
On dreaming youths, tonight and other nights,
Counting for us, for them, each millennium.