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by Laura Parker Roerden

Seven bluebirds live on the edge of our hayfield.

Their flight has helped me understand the loss

of my father and brother, two generations of farmers who died

as dominoes go down; one right after the other.


On the end of the field, where a barren lawn meets

boughs of wild grass, the birds compete for gooseberries

or aggressively drive sparrows from their nests.

There is the suggestion there will never be enough;


that loss has somehow won. That each is on her own.

Yet some days, the bluebirds catch a wave

of air across the wide expanse of field, where they undulate

and dart as if one, a single origami crane folding outwards


in a flash of brilliant indigo iridescence. They fear nothing.

When the hard frost of early winter has settled on the fields

and fences; the bluebirds can be found only in their fiery journey

reflected by seven hot, blue stars in the northern sky


of Taurus sailing as one: The Pleiades.

On these days, when we must awaken to fight the threat to rocks

and brooks, canyons and seamounts, stone staircases to the stars,

and places where corn can grow as bouquets of promise and abundance,


these seven stars spill a secret. While what’s at stake

is more than today, loss is a fallow field we can replant,

(as the ancients knew) at the first rise of Pleiades.

And no matter how dark the night, we together can carry the moon.

Carrying the Moon © Laura Parker Roerden 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Inspired and dedicated to the fabulous Pleiades Network, a constellation of women leaders in sustainability, with deep gratitude to Kathleen Finlay and Penelope Jagessar Chafe for “carrying the moon.”

Laura Parker Roerden

Laura Parker Roerden is the founding director of Ocean Matters and the former managing editor of Educators for Social Responsibility and New Designs for Youth Development. She serves on the boards of Women Working for Oceans (W20) and Earth, Ltd. and is a member of the Pleiades Network of Women in Sustainability. She lives on her fifth generation family farm in MA.

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