Updated: Sep 25, 2022
By: Meghan Zhang
Posted on: April 5, 2022
Cover Image Artwork by: Meghan Zhang
The sky had already become dark
The clock arm pointing to five,
A chilly wind had settled and snow littered the streets
As I gazed out of my window.
I spotted a star
The only one in the sky
I had to see it twice.
These dots of bright light that paint our sky,
They never light up the darkness over the earth
Yet they still glitter in our eyes.
They have been here forever.
Even before I first opened my eyes,
Before you opened yours
They were looking at us
Like they did with all who came before
The most evil,
And the most beautiful,
Stood where we are
And stared at the night sky,
Yet I never questioned them.
A dot smaller than my fingernail is years away from us,
Bigger than we could ever imagine
And older than we could ever live.
And as I looked at this one star
I felt small.
This poem talks about how we humans often feel insignificant in our universe. We grow up learning about the galaxies and their stars, but never really stop to take a look at every one of them. We get so caught up in our own lives that when we stop and look around us, we feel small. I wrote this poem one night when I looked outside and saw a single star in the sky. At that moment, it stood out to me. That star probably has its own story, its own planets, and maybe even its own “Earth”. The star made me realize that no matter what I do, I will always just be a single dot among many.
The second stanza talks about how stars aren’t seen as that significant compared to something like the moon. They don’t shine as bright or make it so the night isn’t completely black. And yet, we still are fascinated by them. The next few stanzas are about how short humankind’s history seems in comparison to that of a single star. That single star has probably seen the start of humanity and every person’s birth: “They were looking at us like they did with all who came before”. I wasn’t the first one to look at that star. There were probably millions of others who also did, and the star has watched over each one. The last few lines show that no matter how big we try to make ourselves, we can’t beat the story of a star. I could do something so great that my name would be known throughout the world. I could be the most famous person in history. Yet, I will still be smaller than that star.
This poem wasn’t meant to sadden those who read it or make people think that they aren’t important. Rather, I wanted people to find comfort in the fact that we all sometimes feel this way. That we may never be able to feel important enough. And that’s okay. Just because you might be one star against 7 billion others, doesn’t mean that you can’t shine in the sky.