Altered Trajectories by Thomas Ballard

I saw your face,
            and felt the gravity of the moment.
The ghost inside echoed the shift,
            recording the tangent in my course.
Your words, your touch, and your spirit
            nudged my bearing.
Tracking left and right,
            I found no center where once it guided.
Bending to the mass of our mutual core,
            it perturbed both paths.

and, then…

Our separation plucked a fundamental string,
            changing pitch, correcting meter.
As if hooking time by the seam,
            relative law slowed the cosmos,
and our stories changed.

After the healing, in the quiet of a sleepless night,
                        the ghost whispered a tender reminder.

. . . My time recovered, and then altered,
            moved on.


I was born and raised on a small farm in a secluded “holler,” just east of Asheville, North Carolina, in a Southern Baptist family. My father was a church deacon, and my mother was the church pianist. I fell in love with vocal, acapella harmonies at a young age.
My youthful imagination was fueled by the Apollo moon missions and during time spent with my dad viewing the night sky through a telescope. I joined the Navy after high school, served 20 years performing precision equipment and time measurements.
I met and married my wife in Hawaii. We have one son and one daughter. Today, I have my own backyard observatory, and I’m fascinated by space, time, and the wonders of the cosmos.

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