Keeper of the Skies

by Mary Alexandra Agner

Celestial mechanic, comet-tamer
calming gas jets, stalker of debris,
another Mitchell building orbitology
from logarithms calc-ed longhand and frames
(or plates) of captured photons which were blamed
when their reflector’s planned trajectory
intersected Earth’s geometry.
He was our herald of the outer flame.

Relinquish, solar system, all that light
can share: revisit times, those ancient berths
of rock and gas which elude human sight—
to Brian Marsden, who catalogued your worth.
Flare up your lamp! And set your ice to flight!
For he has gone and nothing fills the dearth.

Mary Alexandra Agner can be found online at
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