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Wednesday, February 01, 2023


by Sally Zakariya

Some night a lucky few of us may spot
a comet poised in the northern sky,
its large body of dust and ice flaring
out behind it, trailing packets of light
we see as green.

They call it Comet C/2022 E3,
a mouthful of a name, and it hasn’t
come by for fifty thousand years,
cruising its elliptical orbit around
the sun in its own good time.

I read somewhere that life is held
together with imprecise words
and inexact thoughts, but
scientists seem pretty precise,
pretty exact, about this comet.

Or maybe it’s just life down here 
on earth that we ponder inexactly, 

Maybe it’s just our worldly trials 
and tribulations that we approach 
guardedly, side-eyed, warily,
so much this, so little that.

Who can know what’s coming?

Perhaps it’s different for comets.
At any rate, unless its giant orbit 
takes it beyond our solar system, 
we can welcome old C/2022 again
fifty thousand years from now.

Sally Zakariya’s poetry has appeared in some 100 publications and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her publications include Something Like a Life, Muslim Wife, The Unknowable Mystery of Other People, Personal Astronomy, and When You Escape. She edited and designed a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table, and blogs at