Gravity is Honest
As days grow shorter
and nights cooler,
a surge of energy rushes
through the garden:
grass blades stretch,
moisture shoots into the tips
of the tomato leaves.
The basil goes to seed.
In parting, summer pushes
the last fruit towards ripening.
Fall as a metaphor for aging?
That has been done before;
there’s nothing that hasn’t
been said. Trees shed leaves.
Water trickles downhill.
Gravity is honest.
Because Earth’s axis tilts,
we get less sunlight. That’s all.
Seasons don’t happen
for spiritual insight
but by accident: a cosmic
collision knocked Earth off-kilter.
It also created the moon.
We can seek a metaphor
in that, too. Or just observe
the forces that make galaxies
spiral and black holes coalesce.
And marvel that we exist at all.
Two and a half million light-years away,
she spins, her spiral arms trail veils
of dust, as if a whirlwind dances
with a nebula of stars.
She scatters luminous clouds,
circles with the grace of a princess,
with the violence of a hurricane.
She needs no savior prince.
Young stars fall from her arms,
glow brightly, diminish
to ghosts. We cannot dissect
what is at her center.
I don’t believe the stars foretell
the future any more than the owl
who hoots in the bare tree
when snow blows across the field.
The night sky is a playground
for celestial bodies. They move
in their righteous ways,
joyful in their obedience to gravity.
Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and now lives in Rolla, Missouri where she teaches physics at Missouri S&T and hikes the Ozarks. She is the author of Porous Land (Spartan Press, 2019) and The Eden of Perhaps (Spartan Press, 2020), and her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines.