by Dorothy Waite
Christmas Eve, 17.22, said the News.
Look for it rising in the South-West.
17.18 and we doused the lights.
Three generations, in assorted hats
and winding scarves, stumbled across the yard,
consulting luminous watches.
17.22, and right on cue it was there,
a fireball hurtling over our hill,
arcing past aerials, barbecues,
and lighted trees, to fade
like a high-speed train, towards the East.
Amazing, we murmured.
If we had timed the day differently
we might have worn our party crowns.
Certainly no Wise Men
could have been more engrossed,
debating direction and altitude, no Shepherds
Of course, said someone, talk
of a Space Station is purely fanciful.
If you caught this in binoculars you would see
it’s actually a Reindeer Sleigh. Or perhaps,
I thought, an Angel, peeling back the light years
to arrive on time in Bethlehem.
It seemed impossible we were watching
7,000 square metres of manmade object
overtake the moon, with mortals
like ourselves on board.
Why, a complete heavenly choir
would be more believable.