Star Gazing, photo by a4gpaWe're ascending this hill
we call a mountain, telescope
in tow and Galileo's moons
somewhere overhead.  Trying
to show off with my hand-me-down
anecdotes lifted from Carl Sagan's Cosmos,
I start with how people used to believe
the heavens were unchanging.
Hopefully she hasn't heard the one
about the monks who actually saw
a meteor strike the moon in 1187
and how it tested their faith.
I don't remember the name
of its crater, but it's big.
1178, she corrects me.
The Bruno crater, right?
Even in this shallow moonlight,
her question exposes my embarrassment.
We set up the telescope
on a wide outcropping
of rock, and she tells me how
on the moon, the mountains are really
the rims of ancient impact craters.
Not like here on Earth.
It is important to remember,
she tells me, that a mountain like this
not only formed, but is still forming.
That everyday, our batholiths
are a little more exposed.

Copyright © 2011, Andrew Rihn

Image Credit: a4gpa, some rights reserved

Andrew Rihn is the author of several slim volumes of poetry, including the recent chapbook Outside the Clinic (Unlikely Stories). He lives in Canton, OH and can be found online here.