What are these, then,
steel pins, their points
shoved through black felt,
and glowing whiter as if
they might be hot enough
to melt the ice and snow
that covers all the ground
below tonight?
Or are they truly
distant suns, with
planets spinning
round each one,
whose denizens all
strain their sight
to see our sun, its
little light a twinkle
in some other night,
a pin stuck through
some other shroud of
black or blue, refracted
through an atmosphere
that makes its ancient
light appear as if that
distant sun were near
enough to melt the ice and snow
that covers lakes and
seas and sand on what
to us must always be
unseen, unknown, and
almost unimaginable land?

D.W. Brainerd lives in Howland. His self-made collections of poetry include “Under the Gold Sun” and “A Turn of the Wheel.”