Size / / /

This far from Earth, the stars don't line up
in what they call "familiar patterns". There's weather
enough to sit and watch the clouds turn over
our heads, revealing night.
                                       Unanimous:
our decision to sneak out to find our own
sky, bored by classes on constellations
we'll never see.
                       In the observatory,
some snide remarks that Earth-based constellations
are just as backwards as the people living
there still.
               I think about my mother
who chose to stay at home, so many years ago,
rather than risk a long sleep in the dark of space.
She was a potter. The nested bowls she threw
for me clink softly in my hands when I rock back-
and-forth, late at night, if I can't sleep.

The ancient Greeks had built their sky one story
and one stellar cluster at a time.
Outside the dome wind whips the clouds apart
and suddenly the stars line up
just like my mother's hands over her wheel.

 

Copyright © 2003 Mary Alexandra Agner

Reader Comments


Mary Alexandra Agner holds a Masters in Earth and Planetary Science from MIT and an MFA from Emerson College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salt, Rosebud, and Astropoetica, as well as other magazines. Her previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. Mary has spent most of her life observing the universe and writing about it.



Mary Alexandra Agner writes of dead women, telescopes, and secrets. Her poetry, stories, and nonfiction have appeared in The Cascadia Subduction ZoneShenandoah, and Sky & Telescope, respectively. She can be found online at http://www.pantoum.org.
Current Issue
3 Oct 2022

Lying in bed last night I felt fingers reach in, grabbing. I opened in spite of myself as you clawed me with your fingernails, flattened, panicked. Split throat, iron tongue, white masks ranged overhead, the rings on their fingers scraping me as they reached in to take you.
from my tower we climb, shroud as my veil. We leap on his fae steed
I tell smug Cyclops that I’m as gay as the next mutant, and that all mutants find themselves within battles
Get ready to feel hungry, because the theme for this quarterly roundup is food.
Wednesday: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo 
Wednesday: Where You Linger & Other Stories by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam 
Issue 26 Sep 2022
Issue 21 Sep 2022
Issue 12 Sep 2022
Issue 5 Sep 2022
Issue 29 Aug 2022
By: Cat T.
Issue 22 Aug 2022
Issue 15 Aug 2022
Issue 8 Aug 2022
Issue 1 Aug 2022
Issue 18 Jul 2022
Load More
%d bloggers like this: