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. 

(first appeared in Poetry Flash)


Kathleen Lynch writes poetry, fiction, and essays. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area where she serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Literary Arts at San Jose State University.



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