Poems of the Week

Cornering the Moon

by Julia Griffin

For John Carey

“The moon’s darkest corners are a mystery. This image offers a stunning new glimpse.
NASA’s new ShadowCam is peering into places near the moon’s poles that never see sunlight.
What lurks there—and could it be harnessed to launch the next era of space exploration?
[T]he material … may have been ‘fluffier’ than typical lunar soil … ‘[W]e don’t know
if it’s icy dirt or dirty ice, [a researcher] says.”
National Geographic

After Donne

Down the round Moon’s opaquest corners, throw
Your optics, NASA, and surprise, surprise!
Old frozen stuff, in oddly fungal guise,
Is imaged and thrust instantly on show.
Long-hidden, icy dirt takes on a glow
(Or dirty ice—a matter of surmise):
Blissful astronomers vent little cries,
Beholding spots where sunlight cannot go.
For me, though, something has been spoiled in space.
So frost which may be fluffy has been found;
For this we’re gawping through that shining face?
We all get cysts and blotches, I’ll be bound:
Viewed with respect, the Moon looks pretty good,
As artist-types have always understood.