~ Heather McHugh ~


A Physics
When you get down to it, Earth
has our own great ranges
of feeling – Rocky, Smoky, Blue –
and a heart that can melt stones.
The still pools fill with sky,
as if aloof, and we have eyes

for all of this – and more, for Earth’s
reminding moon. We too are ruled
by such attractions – spun and swaddled,
rocked and lent a light. We run
our clocks on wheels, our trains

on time. But all the while we want
to love each other endlessly – not only for
a hundred years, not only six feet up and down.
We want the suns and moons of silver

in ourselves, not only counted coins in a cup. The whole
idea of love was not to fall. And neither was
the whole idea of God. We put him well
above ourselves, because we meant,
in time, to measure up.

(Hinge and Sign: Poems, 1968-1993)

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