This is The Dena again, filling in for Marianne while she is out in the world, having adventures with her orange fingernails. There's a block party going on outside my door, with much hooting, hollering, and hilarity. I can't hear myself think, but perhaps the problem is just that I haven't had enough jello shots. At any rate, I thought I would make the best of these unfortunate circumstances by using tonight as an opportunity to share a poem my daughter wrote for a school research project, prodded by her father.

By Stella Tarlin, 12

A shimmering cloud of reflective dust
The place where stars are born
Can also represent a stellar death
Beautiful and foreign

Full of hydrogen and helium gas
But otherwise unknown
Their original cause remains unseen
And through them the stellar wind blows

Some are thin and mostly dust
Others are filled with gas
A beautiful lightshow in outer space
Shining and vast