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Wednesday, March 04, 2020


by Susan Barry-Schulz

The earth has a new moon—it’s only temporary—roughly
the size of the orange Volkswagen Beetle you tried
to teach me to drive
until we ended up incapacitated
by laughter, backed up down a steep incline,
inching closer and closer to someone’s
front door, the Bronx being a tough place
to learn to shift gears.

The tug of other beings—the sun,
the primary moon—will inevitably pull
this mini-moon from its unstable orbit,
as was with us—flung— far from each other
toward new loves—big skies, mountain peaks—rock walls,
river towns—we drifted a bit over time—and space—
reconnecting again
when the tides went out.

When I picture us now as the Earth’s new moon
I see us at twenty—
that orange bug stocked with Salem Lights
and Diet Coke and our radiant bodies— you
strong enough to rope a calf and shoot a bear
and me—I don’t know what the hell I was good for,
really—but I could run for miles and make you laugh—
whizzing weightless along the trajectory
singing along to that Bruce Hornsby tape
still stuck in the cassette player
            the song came and went
            like the time that we spent
looking through the windshield at the whole
swirly blue-green earth before us
as if it was ours—

then showing up
three years later on a screen in a NASA lab
outside Tuscon Arizona—an unexpected flash—just a few pixels,
really, but enough to get the researchers’ hearts
beating a little faster
as we appear again and again—a tiny blip
against a fixed background,
still flying high—
while astronomers
across the world scramble to predict—they have ways
of graphing these things—

the path of our escape.

Susan Barry-Schulz is a Physical Therapist and Tai Chi instructor. Her poetry has appeared in The Five-Two, The Wild Word, Minute Magazine, SWWIM, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Shooter Literary Magazine, Dream Well Publishing’s One Hundred Memories Anthology and most recently in South Florida Poetry Journal. She is a member of the Hudson Valley Writer's Center and lives in a lake neighborhood in Putnam County, NY with her husband and one or more of her 3 adult children. It all depends.