Blue Shift

She’s tidying the grandkids’ room
shifting the red Lego box
cleaning up the constellations
of racing cars, glitter, hankies
lifting the scruffy teddies
back onto pillows, making room
for the singularity of birth.

There’s a black hole somewhere here –
she wonders if it relates
to the misshapen trousers
she once tried to knit
in lime-green wool
for the legs of her now-lost
teddy-bear. Even in plain
there were too many dropped stitches
a reluctance to follow through
on string theory.

She’s still not entirely sure
of the difference between
a quark and a quasar
or whether it’s worth
keeping the odd socks
in case the others come back
in a month or a light year.

She asks herself whether
four dimensions are enough to fit
the curtain-less window that turns
tree and sky into a painting,
the milk-crates of toys
from three generations,
a boy’s scrumpled drawing of a possible future –
Granny wearing the Star-wars watch
he wants for his birthday.

Is it true, she asks
that all of this can be neatly stacked
in the curvature
of space time – portents
from sixty years ago pigeonholed
next to the memories
of an unborn life, hurtling
towards her from the Andromeda

Published Science Write Now, December 1, 2020


Charlotte Clutterbuck

Published Science Write Now, December 1, 2020

Posted on  –  June 24, 2023