Over Sudbury town, the same old stars
shine on,

350 years,
350 million years.

What shone on Goodnow's house now
          shines  on TJ MAXX, now bediamonds
the same slugglish river,
winding through lost pastures of your past.

What lights the night-stage of your
common life
once shone on Freeman's farm, on Pelham's,
    dappled the banks of that self-same river,
   timelessly knitting past to present,
 silver ribbon, silent watchman, stoic witness.

Starshine on your golden fields, hay-stacked
 and sweet, on Plympton's cow,
in early morning calf-birth,
 rending the darkness with great startling
                                sounds of life.

Starshine on boys gone off to
    Battle Road, Gettysburg,  Flander's Fields,  Anzio,  Chu Lai,

shone on your moments,   all of them,
sharp deals,
    on town meetings
          (your gift to world)

-- the facts, minutes, seconds,
a million of these.

The same silken starlight that fell on
 poor Goodman,
             it falls on you,
on Noyes, on Haynes,
Puritan pioneers,
 zealous in faith and contentiousness,
it falls on you.

This same starlight swarthed
the dead bodies on Green Hill,
        in the Indian war,
 it falls on you,
what guided ancient militia to Concord
it falls on you.

These same celestial eyes keep watch
on meadows turned house lots,
 on roadsides now malls,
            on cowpaths choking with traffic.

At night, when stars burst from their
velvet box,
     the farms come out again--  
and all is as it was
 in the starshine,
a town illumined by its past.

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter
Website by Altolus Digital