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I have gone among those rutting
Stamping wind-blown men
Out on the fields of heat.

I have felt their voices hammer
Like the stone axe,
Felt what it is to feel
The need of ligament
To arc the body as a bow,
Unsheaf the bones
And send them flying
Hard into the haunch of space.

And oh how I have loved
To let my spindle rattle
To the dry earth,
Let the soft thread snarl,
Let the grain go ungathered
And unground,
Let even the hot flame perish
In its greed.

But you, my sisters of the hearth,
Without you, there is no returning.

Rebecca Elson, Ph.D. (1960-1999) was a Canadian-American astronomer and poet. Her research at Princeton and Cambridge focused on star clusters and galaxy formation, including 70 published contributions....