Through the Eyes of the Eye

A woman's memory of her father's work on the Hubble telescope informs this poetic film. You can about it HERE.


MY GOD, IT’S FULL OF STARS (PART 5)

by Tracy K. Smith


When my father worked on the Hubble Telescope, he said

They operated like surgeons: scrubbed and sheathed

In papery green, the room a clean cold, a bright white.


He’d read Larry Niven at home, and drink scotch on the rocks,

His eyes exhausted and pink. These were the Reagan years,

When we lived with our finger on The Button and struggled


To view our enemies as children. My father spent whole seasons

Bowing before the oracle-eye, hungry for what it would find.

His face lit up whenever anyone asked, and his arms would rise


As if he were weightless, perfectly at ease in the never-ending

Night of space. On the ground, we tied postcards to balloons

For peace. Prince Charles married Lady Di. Rock Hudson died.


We learned new words for things. The decade changed.


The first few pictures came back blurred, and I felt ashamed

For all the cheerful engineers, my father and his tribe. The second time,

The optics jibed. We saw to the edge of all there is —


So brutal and alive it seemed to comprehend us back.