The Plough

The night is clear. I’m looking up
at seven stars which form a group,
the first my father pointed out:
‘Those are the Plough.’ Which they were not,
as well I knew, but metaphors
are good for recognising stars.

Until today I didn’t know
that some stars making up the Plough
are further from each other than
they are from us — our earth, our sun.
From someone out there’s point of view
we’re in a constellation too.

What other trigonometry
do they employ to map the sky?
How must our glimmer look to them
and by what reassuring name
might they in metaphor relate
their handled world to spots of light?

Listen to this poem — read by the author