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Daytime Constellations

by John Brantingham

Kevin learns the stars are out even during the day. You just can’t see them unless you climb down a hole so far the light’s blocked out. He knows there’s an ancient well behind the barn. His dad covered it up, but he knows where he can find rope.

Years later, Kevin can't remember if he climbed down and saw daytime constellations he couldn’t name or if the daydream life of children is as powerful as reality. He asks his mother if she can remember it. She puts the back of her hand to her forehead. “God, don’t remind me.”


John Brantingham is currently and always thinking about radical wonder. He was Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ first poet laureate. His work has been in hundreds of magazines and The Best Small Fictions 2016 and 2022. He has twenty-two books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. He is the editor of The Journal of Radical Wonder.


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