Lean against the car, some farmer's field outside Edmonton, our
mittened hands braced in armpits, our breath leaving hoar frost on our
scarves, while the sun

boils over 150 million kilometers away. Solar wind aims for the poles,
knocks electrons out of atoms above. Each gas emits a color as it
captures them: oxygen green, hydrogen red, nitrogen blue. Aurora
borealis drape the sky with this coruscation in the middle distance,

like the snow on your lawn lit by the Christmas lights from the eaves,
flashing on and off, while next door on the porch the neighbor's
children sing something about the triumph of the skies.

First published in The Glaze from Breaking
Copyright © 2005, Joanne Merriam

Image Credit: Studiolit, some rights reserved

Joanne Merriam is a Canadian living in New Hampshire. Her poetry has appeared recently in Alba, Umbrella and Asimov's Science Fiction, and previously in Astropoetica. You can find her online at joannemerriam.com.