On the Day Stephen Hawking Died – Courtney LeBlanc

The closest star is Alpha Centauri,

it takes four years for its light to reach

Earth. This means the light we’re seeing

when we look up at the night sky is four

years in the past – the star could already

be dead but will still shine each night,

still let us wish upon it.


Last summer we sat in the hot tub

with the house lights off and for

the first time I saw the Milky Way,

that fuzzy wash of light against

the darkest sky I’d ever seen. I could barely

make out the constellations among

the clutter of stars.


Oh we were happy then.


I walk my dog on this still-cold March night,

the stars obliterated by the city’s light.

My breath puffs out in front of my face,

condenses into a ghost of white.


Are all the stars I cannot see still alive?

Will it take four years to realize

we too, are dead.

Courtney LeBlanc

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbooks All in the Family(Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at www.wordperv.com, follow her on twitter:@wordperv, or find her on facebook: www.facebook.com/poetry.CourtneyLeBlanc.

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