Posted tagged ‘Space Oddity (Poem of a Sorts)’

Space Oddity (Poem of Sorts)

January 22, 2016

Space Oddity

When I was a child and learned that astronauts, in training, were spun around and around, I knew that I, who could hardly manage the back seat of a car, was not bound for space.

Though I never really wanted to be an astronaut.  What I wanted
was to be an astronomer.

I’d read of a woman astronomer so it seemed like something
a girl could be, though she (Maria Mitchell) was born in Nan
tucket, which the book (whose cover showed a night sky over
a peter pan collar) said was near Martha’s
Vineyard, so I worried that maybe
you needed to come from a place somehow devoted
to women, while my suburb was named
for oxen.

Astronomy a leap anyway since I could only see anything at all
through my child’s telescope
if I flattened one hand over the eye that did not look
through the tube,
which was awkward lying down on the sidewalk in front of
my house, one hand propping up
the seeing side, the other, blinding.

But here’s the thing: we are women;
we make up nearly half
of all humans, though that figure may be lessening due
to the killings, and we raise
so many propping hands, and so many covering hands that it seems
we are all hands–
and still (or, maybe, as a result),
we sometimes get so low, we wish we could just use those hands
to cut ourselves
out of the whole picture,
just be the paper dolls they (and we) make of us,
to be swooped (flatly) as a voice affecting squeakiness squeals,
I’m flying.  

But what we also know is this
(when we do look far away):
there is no blue more beautiful than
the seas seen
from beyond the sky;
no brown more profound than land where
it’s only pull,
and, here we are, women–and okay, some men too–our own
softly swirled planets, with our own land masses of bone
and gland and tissue, our own cartilaginous
tributaries, arms that hold,
about our equators, or up near our
North Poles, those beautiful puffs of cloud and ray
we get to call, briefly, our own (whatever it is
we love and hold)

and oh
how we love you earth,
even from this still
second-class berth, where so many yet
are hardly granted space;

even in
this birth.

Sorry sorry sorry for the length–a discursive draft poem for Izy Gruye’s prompt on Real Toads to write something influenced by David Bowie.