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Little You, Looking Up | 10'

purchase link coming soon

Similar to Little You, Looking Up:

The Whole Sea in Motion

Between Water and Air

Our relationship to the night sky evolves over a lifetime. As children, we may look to the sky as a symbol of something lasting and certain. As we grow older, the stars represent something much more complex: a reminder of how small we are, how insignificant, compared to the vast universe beyond our planet. That disoriented feeling— “the sky a floor that could swallow you whole” —may even lead us to confront our own mortality. Ultimately, Little You, Looking Up explores how we live on even after our own bright stars fade: in our children, in our art, or in something as small as a hand- stitched quilt.

This piece was commissioned by the Phoenix Chorale (Christopher Gabbitas, Artistic Director; Nicole Belmont, Executive Director) with generous support from Mary Farrington-Lorch.

This score will soon be available for purchase through Graphite Marketplace. Request a perusal score here.



Little you, looking up,

fluent in the language of stars

and of sky, lights so fierce and far

and bright, you thought

they must be eternal.


Little you, sleeping under

a glow-in-the-dark map

of your imagination, under

your grandmother’s quilt,

its constellation of stitches.


Little you, unaware

that even stars flare out.


Where did you read it first, or hear it?

—an asteroid, hundreds of years from now,

ending life on earth.


Your mother tried to reassure you:

We’ll be long gone by then

she said, which only made it worse:

the planet gone, and you, and her.


Little you, no longer eternal,

crying under your grandmother’s quilt,

the sky a floor that could swallow

you whole.


Remember: before you were bound

by Earth’s petty rotations, you spoke

to the sun in her language of stars.


Fearless you, looking up,

unafraid of change.


Older now, still looking up,

sleeping under your grandmother’s quilt

though her own bright sun

faded years ago.


Name your daughters after stars

Tuck them under your grandmother’s quilt

So whether they’re looking down or up,

they’ll see themselves reflected:


Small and fierce and bright.

Meticulous. Unhurried.

Possessing their own

gravity. All time.

All sky. All light.

Almost eternal.


—Dale Trumbore

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