The Poem About Taking out the Trash

In the vast emptiness of darkness,
Stars are being born and are burning out;
Galaxies expand, into what I have no idea,
And dark matter fills the infinite space
That has no bounds and no limits.
In the middle of all this, I stand
In a single moment and know how small I am.
A group of atoms, the size of nothing in comparison.
I am the observer of the play on a tiny stage.
The onlooker who watches the painting
Of a picture that few stop to see.
The listener of a song where I hear only a fraction
Of a fraction of a note in a song that will be forever sung
And that has been being sung for eternity upon eternity,
Before I knew breath and sound.
I am but dust, stardust, a breath of a life, smoke
Rising into oblivion, here then gone as quickly.
Under all of this, I take out the trash.



In the vast emptiness of darkness,
Stars are being born and are burning out;
Galaxies expand, into what I have no idea,
And dark matter fills the infinite space
That has no bounds and no limits.
In the middle of all this, I stand
In a single moment and know how small I am.
A group of atoms, the size of nothing in comparison.
I am the observer of the play on a tiny stage.
The onlooker who watches the painting
Of a picture that few stop to see.
The listener of a song where I hear only a fraction
Of a fraction of a note in a song that will be forever sung
And that has been being sung for eternity upon eternity,
Before I knew breath and sound.
I am but dust, stardust, a breath of a life, smoke
Rising into oblivion, here then gone as quickly.
Under all of this, I take out the trash.
( Eric Overby)
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The writer has a day job as a scrub tech working with surgical teams. I heard the poem, literally, in a weekly meditation group that I attend, albeit, irregularly. The instructor closed with it.