By Nick Marland
The farm was huge and he was the only kid there. He wandered paddocks and watched spooked browns writhe off into the long grass. He climbed trees and picked up beetles, and he stared into the eternal eyes of the Herefords as their mouths worked the grass. But the image which had not left him in twenty years was the night sky on those nights: stars like the powder of crushed Greek marbles tossed into the infinite; scattered everywhere, clumping in places, older than everything. The lazy tentacle of the Milky Way reaching out from the eastern horizon; meteorites breaking up low in the sky. You never got to see it like that in the city, where orphaned stars floated in illuminated filth. He remembered asking his mother, Can you see an aurora from here?