the title is a writing prompt...
Stars But No Moon
Twinkling nightlights dot the blackness. They pierce pointy like the end of a needle. They are their own source, burning gaseous, uneven, fire like. They are on their own. One shouts to another, “Hey, how did you sleep?” The other replies, “I’m a little groggy, it’s gonna be a long one.” On watch to keep some assembly of life after dark, the stars have no choice, their vigils hold formations in order. Constellations are teams made up of dedicated individuals.
The moon does what it wants. It’s moody. It’s big and round in the sky when life is good. It proudly shows off the man of the hour and makes the stars think they are dependent upon his light and gravity to keep going. The stars know better. They shine and flatter Mr. Moon, making him think the galaxy couldn’t go on without him. They know their humble places. They stay far away or Mr. Moon couldn’t take the heat, he’d be outdone by their luminance.
The moon turns away when he’s started to have enough. He wanes in brilliance, not taking responsibility to light the way. He can be compared to cats, independent and fickle. On the other hand, stars are like dogs—dependable—trustworthy.
Mr. Moon may get top billing, but the stars pull the curtain, order the props, and highlight like make-up on the actor. They are like the glitter on the cheek of the leading lady.
Not to be unfair to Mr. Moon, or show favoritism towards the stars of the show, Mr. Moon reflects significant events. Babies are born when he pulls his gravitas. Werewolves howl, and lovers kiss on the beach. Super sensitive souls wax poetic to his crescent shape, they find inspiration for art. He balances the ebb and flow of the oceans. We miss him when he’s not around. Depending on our perspective, determines how the man in the moon takes shape. I see him as a cop, with the bill of his hat shadowing a featureless face. He profiles when I need a reminder that someone is watching out for us.
The stars are pictured on our United States flag, not the moon. They beam vivid in patriotism. We can count on them. We don’t have to miss them. Even on a cloudy evening, they are static and alive. Although unseen, their presence is necessary and sustaining. Stars are the windows to the soul of the night sky.