Poem: Betelgeuse by Matt Holdaway

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Image of the supergiant star Betelgeuse obtained with the NACO adaptive optics instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The use of NACO combined with a so-called “lucky imaging” technique, allowed the astronomers to obtain the sharpest ever image of Betelgeuse, even with Earth’s turbulent, image-distorting atmosphere in the way. The resolution is as fine as 37 milliarcseconds, which is roughly the size of a tennis ball on the International Space Station (ISS), as seen from the ground. The image is based on data obtained in the near-infrared, through different filters. The field of view is about half an arcsecond wide, North is up, East is left
By ESO/P. Kervella – http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso0927b/, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9640967
I always liked to look at the stars.
                I couldn’t understand much of the
I couldn’t look a group of stars
                and see a turtle
                                or a hunter
                or some maiden pouring water.
However, I was fascinated by
                what looks like the five stars
                                around the belt of Orion.
Orion is only visible in the Northern Hemisphere
                in the winter
and something about being outside
                                in the cold
                looking at the stars
                                that I have been compelled
                to consider my significance
                                in the face of such isolation.
When I found out that the Great Pyramids
                aligned along three of those stars
                                it became apparent that I wasn’t
                                                the only one
                                                                who felt that for
                                all of the countless stars
                                                those would have significance.
Over the winters
                Of looking at those same stars
                                I began to give them
I would answer to them in a sense
                because I would gauge
                                how far I had grown
                                                Since I last saw them.
Then I read about how one of them,
could go supernova
                and would be brighter
                                in the sky than Venus
for a few hours
                and then

And then the winter would come
                and there would be four stars
                                Where once
                I answered to five.
I learned that Betelgeuse
                is 640 light years
Perhaps it has exploded already
                And the evidence of this demise
                                is hurtling towards us in space.
And I realized that these stars
                Are the same thing
                                As my photographs
                                                of my deceased
That I look into their eyes,
                                That are long gone.
And yet I still
                answer to them.
Then I wondered
                Since our closest start after the sun
                                is four point two light years
What if every single star
                has already exploded
                                and the evidence
                                                hasn’t reached us yet?
And the sky is truly dark
                Except for these
                                Old photographs
                                                of stars.
And how will this
                                my significance?
And who will
                I answer to
                                in the

                                In the