Now when I heard the learnèd astronomer  
            [night classes for big kids
                   who never got tired of star-gazing]
        he was stressing an aspect of astrophysics
                   that fell like a stone in my brain
   to surface that night again – in a dream –  
       although all he said
            was that a hair’s breadth
                           of        a single degree
                   down here [on earth]
  can throw a trajectory light years awry
                           up there in the sky.  

            The dream is too long to delve into
                            so private
     it would be meaningless to you anyway
                    so suffice to say, I saw myself at twelve…
             and awoke remembering
                        the previous evening
                             in the vast observatory     and thinking:
                    is this not true of all our lives ?
           to each  of us          in his or her own life  –
             that one       tiny      tiny       degree of decision
                something seen as insignificant at the time
                           might make the difference
                                        between a life well-spent
                and the kind of half-baked mess
                                we rationalize into
        some semblance of  success
                           [later in life]
                                 by saying
   sure, it could have been a whole lot worse!




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