Kathy Sinclair is a mid-40s Australian technical writer and poet. Her poems are almost all about being female, being a mother, and being chronically ill, and various permutations thereof. She also writes science fiction.
He, reading the screen, says, Look:
they say there's another planet, out beyond little
an ice giant, ten times our size
what a thing!
she, chopping onions,
cries for the wounds of the world and says:
who says? how could they know that, anyway?
Her voice is sharper than the old knife she holds,
fatigue honing irritation to a diamond edge.
No need to be like that, he says;
it's scientists who say it, of course.
Something to do with orbits and Oort clouds
or the asteroid belt, maybe. I'll send you the link.
Can you just set the table instead? she mutters,
but he doesn't hear, absorbed again in the screen.
She stares out the window at the blue-lit sky
and thinks: What if it isn't a planet, but a spaceship?
full of big-brained silver aliens, coming for me;
to take me home to Orion, or the dogstar
somewhere that isn't here -
You're burning the onions, he says, without looking up,
and she draws the blind down on the expanse of night.