My Cart 


The Astronomer's Gift
Phyllis Wax


We swatted away mosquitoes
as we sat outside and chatted.
The little kids chased fireflies.
Dusk fell.

And all the while, he was setting up the telescope,
aiming it, deciding which lens would work best.

Then we each took a turn viewing the moon.
Some had to climb a stepstool to see.

As the sky darkened he re-aimed,
then re-focused the instrument. Over
and over, he re-aimed, re-focused.

One by one each of us again leaned in
close to the eyepiece, cried out
or gasped or aahed
at the four Galilean moons of Jupiter,
two tiny sparks on each side,
and later, at Saturn’s icy rings.

That night he widened the world
for all of us.

© by Phyllis Wax.
Used here with the author’s permission.



Phyllis Wax writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.  A lover of warm weather, she watches the snow come and go, waiting and hoping for spring. From the window in front of her desk, she observes an abundance of migrating birds, several generations of turkeys, and the occasional fox, deer, and raccoon. Some of those make their way into her poetry. Phyllis has read her poems on the radio, in coffee shops, in libraries and bars, and her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.


Post New Comment:
What a wonderful experience! Thank you for allowing us to experience it vicariously.
Posted 05/02/2020 05:55 PM
Yes...agree with Maryann and the others. That must be a remarkable sight!
Posted 05/02/2020 02:38 PM
Posted 05/02/2020 10:37 AM
Thanks for this, Phyllis. It's a wonderfully uplifting poem, very well written, and perfect for these upsetting times.
Posted 05/02/2020 10:31 AM
Really a stunning poem, Phyllis. We all need something uplifting these days, and this serves that purpose well.
Posted 05/02/2020 10:29 AM
Wilda Morris:
Hi Phyllis, Thanks for the reminder of wonder and how it expands our world!
Posted 05/02/2020 09:50 AM
This is great. Phyllis captures the family and friends interaction, awe of discovery, and power of knowledge, using each stanza as a separate episode.
Posted 05/02/2020 09:46 AM
Maryann Hurtt:
The gift of awe. Well said, Phyllis.
Posted 05/02/2020 07:35 AM
Larry Schug:
This poem takes me back to New Mexico, the telescope at Ghost Ranch and my friend, Willie, who operated it as a line of people awaited their turns at the eyepiece, heads craned to a more vast view of the sky, feeling smaller and smaller under the desert sky as we waited our turn to feel large. An amazing job of capturing an exquisite experience, Phyllis.
Posted 05/02/2020 07:26 AM
Hi Phyllis, Wonderful poem and, coincidentally, we have in the trunk a telescope that was our boys which we are passing on to our grandsons.
Posted 05/02/2020 05:26 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.