I looked for it, low in the east,
Where it was scheduled to appear.
Good sightings of it were, I knew,
Rare in the northern hemisphere.

Cream-golden Saturn shone above me.
By imperceptible degrees
Orion climbed, tilted acutely,
Through nearby eucalyptus trees.

Despite the chill and damp, I worked
The focus wheel of my binocs
With the light touch a safecracker
Applies to combination locks.

Yet as dawn spread, I couldn’t find
The thing I sought. I felt bereft.
How many chances to observe it,
Given my age, did I have left?

Up blazed the sun, as if to roast
The lesser globe on which I stood.
It all but bellowed, “I’m a star!
I rock, and rule this neighborhood!”

Lost in its glare was Mercury,
Too swift and subtle for my eye.
Going inside, I left my slippers,
Drenched with dew, on the porch to dry.

Articles by Timothy Steele

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