The Gauntlet
 
Modern Life is something 
we grew up with.
It changed day by day  as we did 
It isn't the hand that knows 
its difference from the glove. 
 
The hand it seemed, felt altogether natural.  
But when the hand held the glove, 
empty and hanging limp, 
it hardly seemed worth discussing
since you never slip 
into the same glove twice.
 
But there are  puzzles  
in modern life.
Fissures in the explanations 
we dealt with so cautiously;
the things the gods would not tell us.
  
All those people out there we never knew.
Now we know about them, we count them,
we question them,  they answer,
and  we write down their answers.
We find out how many people 
are just like us and discover
we all bought the same kinds of cars, 
the same kinds of houses, 
---use credit cards.
 
We use to think we couldn't ask
and shouldn't answer.
 
Among  those secrets that fissured 
and split open the skies
were those bright stars,  not single stars
but galaxies on far away maps. Now we know
about them, we count them, we question them
and write down their answers.  
 
If they veer from the expected we look 
for  unseen galaxies or black holes.
If they are blue, we know they are new. 
If yellow or red, a helium flash
and we become the atoms gathered  
from the next dust cloud making stars.
 
When a cell divides,
smaller galaxies emerge.
 
Then such secrets become congenial;
play things on all-knowing computers. 
We look for them  The things we knew--  
now strange and unanswered.  We begin 
to hold the mirror, looking over our shoulder 
to see not the history that warns us off.  
but the fissures that lead us on.
Our fears going down, 
Our courage going up.

L. Fullington

 

If you've a comment on her poem, L.Fullington would be pleased to hear from you.