A Poem by Angela Cummings

Written around the same time Neil deGrasse Tyson was receiving hate mail from third graders, Pluto is a short poem by Angela Cummings. We are re-releasing it ahead of the fifteenth anniversary of the former planet’s demotion.


by Angela Cummings

Pluto, you are out. Just like that.


As if none of us could relate to you—

 not quite big enough for our own britches,

 not pulling all of our own weight.

You are not a survivor of this reality show.

And now, the pejoratives:

“Dwarf,” “outcast,” the embarrassing “planette.”

You need some savvy P.R., Pluto—

 an interview with Diane Sawyer,

 a good turn on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Children all over earth pluck

your tiny likeness from their mobiles.

I have to wonder: will plutonium seek a new sponsor?

Who will bat ninth for the galaxy?

Must you be known as only a mousey mouse’s dog?


Still, you glide on, if awkwardly, if slowly.

It is dark out there. Mercury is nervous.


Copyright © 2006 by Angela Cummings.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.