Dangerous Astronomy

by Sherman Alexie

Read by Emma Rye

I wanted to walk outside and praise the stars,

But David, my baby son, coughed and coughed.

His comfort was more important than the stars

 

So I comforted and kissed him in his dark

Bedroom, but my comfort was not enough.

His mother was more important than the stars

 

So he cried for her breast and milk. It’s hard

For fathers to compete with mothers’ love.

In the dark, mothers illuminate like the stars!

 

Dull and jealous, I was the smallest part

Of the whole. I know this is stupid stuff

But I felt less important than the farthest star

 

As my wife fed my son in the hungry dark.

How can a father resent his son and his son’s love?

Was my comfort more important than the stars?

 

A selfish father, I wanted to pull apart

My comfortable wife and son. Forgive me, Rough

God, because I walked outside and praised the stars,

And thought I was more important than the stars.

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