Poem – Elizabeth Smither

Naming a telescope

(for David Hill)


What to call your new telescope? Presuming
like a ship it must be female
though its shape suggests otherwise
and the way you aim it definitely male
the fiddling to set it up, decidedly male.
Wendy. I want to suggest Wendy. 
The girl in the nightdress who doubtingly
stood on the windowsill, high up
above the Kensington street and flew
after a sprinkling of stardust
following Peter Pan who crowed
as he flew around the light fittings
of her room and over her comfortable bed
with her head print on the pillow
and the wailing Nana dog
out into the starlight to where
the real stars looked coolly at them both
Peter now resembling a Milky Way
(too flighty to concentrate) and Wendy
deserving a firm fixed star of her own.


Elizabeth Smither

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