Une visite de Milton chez GaliléeIf Milton did visit Galileo,
what did they discuss? Chatting in Latin,
a youth and a revolutionary:
the beauty of numbers, pleasures of
Italy, distant shining planets?

Imagine discovering sunspots:
Like looking through a jeweler's loupe
and finding imperfections in the gem.

Was Galileo flattered or ill-humored
from aches and age? Did they consider
weather and wine, the pope and politics,
cosmology? The Church or telescopes?
Hell, heaven, the celestial hierarchy?

Was it a dialogue or lecture,
with the blind old man doing the talking?
Fact or fable: We can only wonder.

Copyright © 2011, Pat Tompkins

Image Credit: Tito Lessi, via Wikimedia Commons

Pat Tompkins is an editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poems have appeared in flashquake, the Aurorean, Strange Horizons, and other publications.