Counting Stars – Brian Wake

we went outside and gazed at stars

Brian Wake

Born in Liverpool. Published in the UK and abroad. Work broadcast

On BBC TV (BBC 2), Radio 4 and local radio (Merseyside). Books published

By Headland Publications, England and Driftwood Publication (UK)

Counting Stars

In the early hours then, sometime between

not wanting to get up and needing to,

expectant silences, the visual discrepancy

between gunmetal blues of fading night

and gorgeous morning, my father walked

the landing half asleep.

He asked me if… do I, he said, still work,

and should I shave, and if his bus was due.

I turned him back and closed his bedroom

door, and wondered if, at some god-help-me time,

I too would walk the landing half asleep

and if my children might be near

to keep me from unutterable despair.

Against conditions such as these, to question

how and why we live and breathe is somehow

quite absurd. That night, a little time ago,

we went outside and gazed at stars.

My father counting them, my children asking

what they mean and me caught somewhere

in between what matters everyday

and what is meaningless.

Brian Wake

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