NGC 2818, Hubble photograph, courtesy NASA, November 2008.

NGC 2818, Hubble photograph taken November 2008, courtesy NASA.

by Joan Prusky Glass

How will you find your way home?

I am drawing a diagram for my students,
explaining that earth orbits the sun
every 365 days, and that’s how
we measure the years passing,
our living and dying.

Do you see me waiting here, as you go?

I tell them that every planet orbits a star,
how in our search for new planets,
scientists watch and wait for the star
to go dark in its passing.
When the star dims, they know
the planet has been there.

What happens to a star when the light goes out?

The rock in your pipe glows
hotter and brighter than any solar fire.
When the smoke fills your lungs,
I prepare to lose you again.
To flicker in your path,
and wait as I burn.

Joan Prusky Glass holds a B.A. and M.A. from Smith College and is a teacher of intellectually gifted children. She lives near New Haven, Connecticut with her three children. Her poems have recently been published in TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, Gloom Cupboard, Literary Mama, Decades Review, Up the River, and Smith College Alumnae Quarterly, among others, and are forthcoming at Right Hand Pointing and Rise Up Review. Her poem “Bathing Scene,” featured on the Saturday Poetry Series: Poetry as it Ought to Be, can be read here.