700 Light-Years from Home
700 light-years from Earth
a cosmic nursery births baby stars
like a stray cat giving birth
to a litter of kittens.
Suckling at the teat of the Universe
they feed on gas and matter,
clinging to Mother,
eager for life.
700 light-years from where
a newborn star explodes to life
an old man stumbles towards home.
He cannot hear the newborn cry
nor see the face of the proud mother,
as proud of this one as she is of
the countless billions that came before.
It will be 700 years before the infant’s Light
reaches where he stands now.
His liver will have drowned
in the whiskey he drinks
long before then.
Several months ago I had a dream. I don’t recall what the dream was about, but when I woke up one thing kept playing over in my mind and that was “700 light years from Earth”. I looked this up and found that there is a stellar nursery about 700 light years away in the constellation Perseus. The phrase has kept play over, and over in my mind. I knew from the start that it would be either a poem or a story (still time for both), but it looks like the poem came first. This one was a bit harder for me than most. It is a bit…disjointed(?), but it fits what I wanted, at least for me it does.