by Brenda Yates

They met by chance. But that’s
another story and theirs to tell.

Truth is they lived a continent apart,
traveled under different stars.
Mismatched days, tides, oceans.

Her moon was full hours before his.
Her morning: his night.

And yet, despite the whole
askew universe, they fell in love.

Some say destiny. Destiny—
from the moment they were born
under lyrical stars—
after all, aren’t they both Irish?

Truth is they’re far removed
from roots their names suggest.

But however distant, names
echo what comes together
under these lucky skies:

Shannon, meaning goddess, wisdom,
well of knowledge and namesake
of myriad places, of bays, waterfalls
and rivers, all of them wise;

Brendan, as in prince, voyager
and saint, with namesake island,
a cathedral or two, numerous pubs
and his own feast day.

It’s a dirty world, unjust, always
wars and everywhere the dying earth,
but still, still, there is this: Yes!

From this august August
day forward, love is their found star,
an ever fixèd mark to navigate by,
their true astronomical north
wherever they wander
wherever they go from here.