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Sarah Law


My mother has outlived Lieutenant Uhura


by six months and an English summer

although she could never compete in astrophysics


or the hailing frequencies between green-

goddesses and the barrel-chested captain


Uhura kissed just once under duress 

although it was always Officer Spock


she really held the line for – my mother, now

nonagenarian, still recalls the formulae


for salt and water, symbols for silver 

and gold, like the wedding ring


she lately misplaced. A female chemist

in the 1950s was a rare and charming thing.


The carbon-based life forms you find in time

and space never last as long as your stars.


All those miniskirts and mustard jumpsuits

jiving like particles in a placenta, my mother – 


unafraid of ridicule, unafraid of war,

holding her own in the heart’s high beam. 

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