Tell me why the stars do shine…


The word “shine” made me remember going to summer camp for several seasons of my childhood.  I wrote this poem about it:


At Little Flower Camp


At Little Flower Camp

in the summer of 1957,

first time away from home,

She’s nine,


Hates how cold the cabin gets at night,

hates the cold twelve stall toilets,

hates having to go swimming in the cold pool.

But the first night,

before bed,

the counselors herded them

into the large pine gathering room.

All of the campers from six to twelve,

little girls,

on the benches facing the stage.

In the dark, the singing began:

Tell me why…..

the stars do shine…

tell me why…

the ivy twines..

tell me why…

the sky is so blue…

tell me , Little Flower,

why do we love you?

All those girl voices,

trailing off the “Why” in a swooping arc,

and the three part harmony…

all those little girls singing

and their voices took her

somewhere she had never gone,

the only child,

from the quiet house of grownups.






<a href=””>Shine</a&gt;

<a href=””>Shine</a&gt;

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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