Reflection of sunlight off Titan Lakebut here there is only the memory
of her smiling. How the oceanic
dark moved away when she came
near the bed, tucking the covers
around my small body. Moonlight
washing the blankets while I dozed,
her standing outside the door,
dreaming of stars.

Now people have discovered
Titan may have hidden oceans
beneath its ice and my mother
lingers in the hallway until I tuck
her into bed. Sometimes I wait
in the doorway, listen to her breathe
while the stars and moon spin
in the corner of the window;
darkness approaches like the tide.

Come morning I learn there may be
life in those hidden, sunless seas
though my mother sleeps like the dead
in her room. I don’t know if she dreams
because the stars have receded
into blue skies and I am no longer
a child. No longer frightened.
Even on Titan it’s possible the spirit
lingers, concealed though it seems,
spinning in the infinite darkness.

First published in Ellen La Forge Poetry Prize Annual
Copyright © 2009, Christine Klocek-Lim

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/DLR

Christine Klocek-Lim received the 2009 Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in poetry. She has three chapbooks: Cloud Studies (Whale Sound Audio Chapbooks), How to photograph the heart (The Lives You Touch Publications), and The book of small treasures (Seven Kitchens Press). Her poems have appeared in Nimrod, OCHO, Poets and Artists (O&S), The Pedestal Magazine, Diode, the anthology Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory and elsewhere. She is editor of Autumn Sky Poetry and her website is