Dear First Officer,
Jupiter and Venus punctuate
the pumpkin sunset. You know
the voices of Sandhill Cranes
a thousand feet overhead,
the cessation of photosynthesis,
the mathematics of frost.
when the snowmen invade,
the trees will be fractal,
the Dippers will dip around Polaris.
We will pilot into the night-tide.
Immersed in the Milky Way,
we will count our stars
and in the ultraviolet
discover one more.
M.C. Childs is the author of multiple poems and award-winning urban design books including The Zeon Files, Squares, and Urban Composition. His book Foresight and Design is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2022. He recently served as dean of architecture and planning at the University of New Mexico. Abyss & Apex, Analog, Asimov’s, and magazines that don’t begin with A have published his poems.
Author’s Backstory and Comments: This poem began life in a drop-in poetry workshop run by the generous David Meischen at Bookworks in Albuquerque. It has mutated a few times since.
Editor’s Notes and Image Credit: Platte River, Nebraska: Sandhill cranes [photograph by Chris Helzer/The Nature Conservancy]