Galileo & Eggs (#40)

Sorting eggs with my son,
Listening to a twenty eight minute
Biography of Galileo Galilei,
Who raked the ashes of Aristotle

Over the coals of Ptolemy until
The Catholic church couldn’t help
But notice. A freckled egg,
Cupped in my palm, curving

Inward, sac, albumen, yolk,
Scintilla speck of embryo,
Brain, blood, programatic,
Geometric physics of biology—

Galileo, however, looking outward,
Told the priests, the inquisitors,
“You’re right. This is all just
My opinion. Can I go home now?”

Meanwhile, as he spoke,
His manuscript, banned in Rome,
Was being smuggled off to
Amsterdam for publication.

Back in Virginia, I teach my boy
To pack the eggs into dozens,
A legacy of Roman lucre,
When perhaps ten would make

More sense. Later, staring skyward,
A dozen stars. A thousand!
Jesus, Galileo. I just want to hear
That song by the Indigo Girls.

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