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Jane Schapiro

Black Hole

Hodei, a figure from Catalan mythology by MidJourney AI

Eventually the universe must end.
With these words
the planetarium lights dimmed.
Too old to take my mother’s hand
I stared at the dark.
Expand forever, contract and burst.
What’s a billion years give or take?
To a girl of ten
the message was clear.
Who was this Prophet, this Cosmic Oz
whose voice kept circling
like a hawk?

I had always sensed
some other force
lurking outside
my bedroom door.
Supernova, white dwarf …
on he went, pausing only
to let cymbals crash.
When the last star blinked off,
we filed out. my mother turned,
Don’t worry, the world is still here,
my mother whispered,
her words weightless.


About the writer
Jane Schapiro is the author of three volumes of poetry, the 2020 Nautilus Book Award Winner Warbler (Kelsay Books, 2020), Let the Wind Push Us Across (Antrim House 2017), Tapping This Stone (Winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Award, 1995) and the nonfiction book Inside a Class Action: The Holocaust and the Swiss Banks (University of Wisconsin, 2003). Mrs. Cave’s House (2012) won the Sow’s Ear Poetry Chapbook competition. Her poems have appeared in The American Scholar, Black Warrior Review, The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, Verse Daily, Women’s Review of Books.

Image: Hodei (Cloud), a figure from Catalan mythology by MidJourney AI. Digital image created by artificial intelligence. By 2023. Public domain.

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