Smarten Up, Girl

When I was a college freshman
in love with Romantic poets
and Victorian outlaws
I put my eye to a telescope one night in Astronomy 101.

The professor, a patient, faith-filled man
had positioned it to see
the full surface of the moon.

I giggled with a friend about a winsome guy in class
whose name I didn’t know.
And then it was my turn to see through the lens.

In less than a second my eye traveled from earth to moon
and I saw for the first time in my life.
And seeing made me ask.
And asking has led me, some 15 years later,
to this point.

Where, sometimes I wake in the night
from a glow through the curtains.
I get up to check,
but it isn’t the neighbors’ porch light,
it’s the moon.

That face I met in college.
That drawn up grin
more charming than Byron.
More sobering than Wilde’s letters from prison.

I see his charging face again
and it smartens up this silly girl.
Nothing you do will last.
Live for the kingdom of heaven.