Through thousands of light years, travel on,
making an album of the stars,
each image sent, already gone,
through thousands of light years—travel on,
recording the ancients, the long
elemental trail fused in ours
through thousands of light years, travel on,
our family album in the stars.
I could already hear you, even as you were emerging,
so quick you were to make your presence known.
But your father was the first to see you.
What does she look like? A mother’s first question.
His answer unexpected, or perhaps somehow expected.
The things men say that they regret for their lives.
This man who adored you even before you were born,
this man who, months later, still gazes at your face,
and waits for every chance of a smile—
She looks like an internal organ, your father answered,
so startling that the nurse came running to my side
to reassure, to cover up his words in that moment,
and for the anxious mother, for all those present
in the room and the future, proclaimed it three times
She’s beautiful. She’s beautiful. Just beautiful.
Diane Thiel has published eleven books, including Echolocations and Resistance Fantasies. A new book of poetry, Questions from Outer Space, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in Spring 2022. Thiel's work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies. A Professor at the University of New Mexico, Thiel was awarded the title of Regents’ Professor in 2021. Her honors include PEN, NEA and Fulbright Awards. Thiel has traveled and lived in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia, working on literary and environmental projects. Please visit her webpage for more information: www.dianethiel.net