she focused her finder scope on Alnitak,
the left-most star in Orion’s belt,
then slewed South and a bit to the side,
finding the Flame Nebula easily, but straining to see
the Horsehead Nebula

her friend Steven thought the so-called “Orion Nebula”
was the only object of interest in the constellation,
but Betsy considered it old hat–
beautiful, but boring, which is also
how she saw herself

She added her H-Beta filter to her eyepiece
and she zeroed in on the Horsehead–
there it was, faint even in her 14-inch Newtonian

Betsy stepped back and let Steven
have a look, telling him about
averted vision and how to relax his eye
Steven said he thought he might have seen
something, but he was obviously

As the night drew on, she showed him a few galaxies, globular clusters,
and double stars, but her heart wasn’t in it
yes, she thought, space is cold and distant
but this hillside in West Virginia is no