Perspective: A Poem


In five billion years or so,

perhaps even six,

our Sun will begin

the slow process of dying.

At that time, our star will

grow and grow and grow

until it becomes a seething

red behemoth,

destined to shed its outer coat

and transform into a

short-lived planetary nebula,

followed then by nothing more than

a cooling core called a ‘white dwarf’ -

a process that will take several

million years to complete and

could even stretch to another billion.

*

How strange, it occasionally seems,

to be given the opportunity

to witness from a front row seat

a mere nanosecond

— not even —

of this blazing celestial life,

quantified in such hard to fathom

terms as ‘millions’ and ‘billions’

compared to our trivial tens.

*

I imagine it would be something like

a mayfly trying to grasp,

trying desperately to comprehend

the lifespan of a Greenland shark.

Though even this doesn’t

seem a close enough analogy.

And now that I think about it,

I’m not sure there is one.

*

My point being,

one need only look up at the Milky Way

from time to time,

in order to fully apprehend

the absolute enormity of our littleness

and the true tragedy of our inhumanity

toward our fellow man.