“Newton’s First Law of Gravity” by Elizabeth Cohen
The gravitational force between two objects
is directly proportional to the pull of the earth.
So put away that dream of an adopted daughter
leaping into the sky of you.
Put away your dream of swallows pulling
you both into a night sky blinking with stars.
Put away the dreams that she might fly
back someday to the earth of you.
Those swallows were just migrating
to a distant continent. And the blinking stars
Were just the tears you shed the morning
after she left for the last time.
Later, you learned that gravity
is more of a theory than a law.
A new theory was cooked up
years later, by Einstein
Who reconsidered the whole business,
saying the gravity between things
“Results from their warping of spacetime”.
There it is. The space and time
Between you and the adopted daughter
had undone like tired stitches,
All pull warped, in doing so, released.
If Newton and Einstein were alive
You’d like to think they join forces
to study this, come up with a new theory.
One in which swallows can pull
lives out of a silent abyss,
Catch them in a net, and toss them
skyward, together, toward the dawn
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Elizabeth Cohen Artist Statement: A memoir doula, an innovative and supportive mother, a poet, a journalist.
I apply my gifts as a writer, anthropologist, writing coach, publisher and feminist research scholar to the above.