We took our kids to City Hall Plaza
with its dead-on view
of South Mountain to watch
the moon eclipse our sun
in a certain way we’d been told
wouldn’t happen again
in our lifetime unless we traveled
to a far-off part of the globe.
So the grown-ups knew we had to pay
close attention to the astronomer
who’d volunteered to walk us
through all the phases to totality,
and because our sun is a nuclear furnace
that can scorch our retinas,
he warned us to stare at it only
through the mylar ring filters
mounted on the telescopes
we stood in a long line to share
or the pinhole projector
constructed atop a marble flight
of steps facing the mountain.
Another total like this is expected in
seventy-five years, went the lecture,
and I saw my boy, knowing
the day must come,
looking at his mother and me
with clear eyes — those little
windows to his mind — doing the math
before he decided to leave
and check out that shadowy image
of a darkened sun projected
on a blank white screen.