Telescope

by Felix Jung
Amateur astronomers fear an approved prison project would spoil their view because the prison's lights would stay on all night.
—New York Times, 6.30.99

The further things are, the more
beautiful they seem. We name
a God, and set him high above us.
Saturn's rings are lovely only
because we cannot wear them.
Even convicts know this truth.

Each night between their bars,
prisoners try to glimpse the Big
Dipper, that cauldron which can
hold a universe and never spill.
Trace its lines, they say, and you
will find the North Star. Follow it
and you are home.

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