The night after my sister fell off her bike and broke her arm, 
I saw the Northern Lights. I was 11
with the family visiting grandparents on Lake Erie, 
and my sister had complained into the wee hours that her arm was throbbing. 
Mom’s voice carried into our room: “hairline fracture” and “hospital,”
and then the whole family was standing by our station wagon in the driveway 
my sister holding her arm, 
all of us gaping at the ribbons of light over the neighbor’s roof. 
That night is legendary in our family, still talked about at shrinking holiday dinners.

When the Northern Lights appeared in the Kentucky sky in May, 
I remembered after I’d gone to bed
only because my daughter texted me to go look!
I made a half-assed attempt, lifting blinds on my bedroom window, 
but seeing only the glow from the Shell station,
I went back to bed and fell asleep.
I slept through the Aurora Borealis. 
Slept right through it. 
Not a single picture to share on social media. 
No tales to tell about how I drove miles away from light pollution to see it.
I just closed my eyes and slept 
because nothing tops seeing astronomical magic when you’re a kid,
because I ache too much now witnessing Wonder when I’m alone.