Our Story

Illustration by Mary Sundstrom and Matt Celeskey.
BY MANUEL GONZÁLEZ, Albuquerque Poet Laureate
               in this place
we uncover ourselves.

        Reveal deeper understandings,
fossilized discoveries     to be recorded,
                                      and stored.

        Give future generations
                  the ability
                            to transcend time,

follow clues that lead to
                 the Big Bang and

            Deeper still to
the crust,
                 the magma,
                              the core.

             Life persists
in all its forms and       sizes.

             Our story locked in stone
to be preserved indefinitely.

                  The weight of that realization
                           is heavier than
                                        the tons of

                    the dust that covers our path;
                    the dust to which everything returns.

              Cycles of time,
ages and eons,
               ice and fire,
                               tectonic plates quaking,
              forever changing;

              this beautiful blue ball
spiraling through space
                               like a double helix.

              It’s humbling
                              to think
              we                    carbon-based
                              lifeforms are made of
                              star-stuff and spark.

              This place
shows us              from where we came,
                              from what we are made.

               Explains the magic,
                             shows the mathematics,
               shines light into the darkness
                                      of knowledge.

               Feeds the imaginations
                                of young minds:

                                     Our future
                                             begin their journeys here.

             In these walls
                   where every child understands
             that when they stand
                   in the shadow of the fossilized frame of Stan,

               Those bones
                                beneath our feet
hold stories of our origins,
                                 our beginnings.

                Those connections help
us understand  
                      who we are,
                      our place in this world,
                      where we are going.

                 If we survive our own existence,
the night time sky                              filled with
                billions of galaxies,
                         billions of suns
                                billions of chances,
                that we’re not the only ones.

                   This place is more than
                                     more than    history.
                   It’s where we decipher
                                                            our mystery.

                  This museum
ignites the muses
                  and lights the fires of                curiosity
                                                    within us all.

                 Our search for the truth,
the mechanizations of          this planet,
                 this home we all share together

                                     as New Mexicans,
                                     as Earthlings.