The telescope was bigger than we thought.

The box took me and Dad to stomp it flat

While Mom had to figure out just what fit what

Before its tripod legs locked, and we sat

Aiming its silent cannon at the night.

The thing was touchy. Dad did find the moon,

Which looked like its pictures on the internet,

But I, too eager to see, brushed it askew.

The night was touchy. Every single planet

Moved, no thanks to Nicolaus Copernicus.

Space is always bigger than what’s in it.

Even the stars were fixed on evading us,

Celebrities unwilling to be shot.

Unless our scope was smaller than we thought.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 5, on page 47
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