A night sky over several pine trees.

Three decades later I return
to where I once lived

and drive the twenty-miles,
Port Ludlow to Port Townsend,

past the spot I was passing—
driving our old grey bug

eight months pregnant with my first—
when the news came over the radio.

News I strained to hear, twisting the dial,
thinking first of the teacher astronaut, a young

mother of two. And then, of my unborn child,
safe, contained. In fact, he was kicking me,

seat belt pressing into us. And then,
I kept on driving toward my appointment,

toward my own motherhood. I kept on driving
as the capsule was falling, as the teacher’s

children, husband, parents stood in the stands
watching. Years later I learned that the whole time

the vessel was descending, hurtling toward home,
toward the waiting water, the crew was alive.

Would knowing this have changed anything?
My children are grown now. All those years,

I was guilty of nothing but happiness.
Conifer clouds, sneak peeks of sky.


Photo by Jonathan Miske, used and adapted under CC.