“The Nearly New Moon and the Crescent Earth” by Dick Westheimer

Dick Westheimer


I ask Google if gravity is a particle or a wave.
Instead of responding, it shows me a photo
of the crescent Earth seen from beyond the Moon,
then asks me if I am happy, if I am more Moon
than Earth. And I think “Moon.” Definitely
I am Moon today, a quarter million miles from
any of my brood, which is not much farther
than I normally feel from here in Ohio, and them
living in warm homes, one with a cat sleeping
at his feet, another snugged under blankets
with her lover watching the snow fall out their
frosted window, a third tucking her loose-tooth
boy in bed before catching up on her work. Their
mother is paying bills in the other room and
I am drawn to all of them, like the Moon is
to the Earth—so far away, each of us, one
from the other. But our orbits remain stable
and Google was right. We are drawn
by neither particle nor wave but by some
strong force not subject to the laws of physics.
This is what I imagine the Moon feels, looking back
at the blue jewel it was born from. And Earth
too, is constantly tugged by the orb in its orbit
as each is held so warmly by the other.

from Poets Respond
December 11, 2022


Dick Westheimer: “I have gone back to look at this image over and over. The perspective here sent me wondering about gravity and the relationships I have with those in my orbit near and far.” (web)

Rattle Logo