My mother gave me my first science lesson:
The sun does not rise and set on you, young lady.
Teachers who came later proved her right,
as did the major and minor desertions of my life.
It is a matter of perception that we see ourselves
as central. Fact is, earth circles the sun.
Fact is, the sun is a small star burning out.
Tongues of hot gas, each larger than earth, burst
from the sun's face. When we catch first sight of it,
we call it morning. These mornings
I pull back curtains, crank up her bed, raise
her face to the light. Wake up, Mom, I say,
the sun is rising. And I want her
to open her eyes, to believe what I tell her is true.
Even though I know the sun stands still and burns.
Even though I know my science.
Poems by Kathleen Lynch:
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets