Born in the Show Me state
the son of an insurance man.
As a youth, his interests
were entirely terrestrial;
jock, fly fisherman, boxer.
In college, the first hints of calling;
a frat boy studying math,
astronomy and philosophy.
One of the first Rhodes scholars,
British dress and manners
stuck with him all his life.
Mount Wilson was his laboratory;
the faint glow of his omnipresent pipe
reflecting the nebulae he studied.
In his day, scholars saw only one galaxy,
but he saw many.
From the Milky Way
to dozens of spirals and ellipticals,
he expanded the universe
galaxy by galaxy.
The Hubble Constant showed us
that all those silent stars
rushing away at terrible speed
expanding the universe ever farther.
He left us the Redshift Distance Law;
that caused Einstein
to declare his galactic fudge factor
the biggest blunder of his life.
His life star burned bright and fast
he was gone at sixty three.
There was no funeral.
His wife never revealed
what became of the body.