Anne Whitehouse writes:
in honor of the second (and last) 21st century Transit of Venus, here is my poem about the occasion eight years ago:
JUNE 8, 2004
Outside at seven am
my daughter and I dare not look
at the blazing Eastern sky.
We cannot see the rare event unaided,
the transit of Venus across the Sun,
but Fortune has provided us
an astronomer and sun-filtered telescope
all set up as if waiting for us
in Columbia University’s
outdoor living room.
Resting on top of a low wall
that borders a raised lawn
is the delicate instrument.
Not everything is as it seems.
The astronomer is really
a music professor who willingly
shares his love of the Stars.
We gaze into the telescope
in awe at the mirrored image–
the small black dot of Venus
crossing over the Southern Hemisphere
of the shielded orange Sun.
Our hearts beat to Celestial Time.
As Venus passes the Sun’s rim,
it flattens against it slightly,
as if kissing it goodbye.