Science  Write  Now

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She’s tidying the grandkids’ room

shifting the red Lego box

cleaning up the constellations

of racing cars, glitter, hankies

lifting the scruffy teddies

back onto pillows, making room

for the singularity of birth.


There’s a black hole somewhere here –

she wonders if it relates

to the misshapen trousers

she once tried to knit

in lime-green wool

for the legs of her now-lost

golliwog. Even in plain

there were too many dropped stitches

a reluctance to follow through

on string theory.


She’s still not entirely sure

of the difference between

a quark and a quasar

or whether it’s worth

keeping the odd socks

in case the others come back

in a month or a light year.


She asks herself whether

four dimensions are enough to fit

the curtain-less window that turns

tree and sky into a painting,

the milk-crates of toys

from three generations,

a boy’s scrumpled drawing of a possible future –

Granny wearing the Star-wars watch

he wants for his birthday.


Is it true, she asks

that all of this can be neatly stacked

in the curvature

of space time – portents

from sixty years ago pigeonholed

next to the memories

of an unborn life, hurtling

towards her from the Andromeda galaxy?

Feature image by Stephen Rahn