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Betelgeuse, A Star Inspired Poem and Story

Kari enjoys writing poetry. There is a certain freedom in poetry because you don't always have to follow the rules.


Betelgeuse is a giant star. In the past, it was known for being the 10th brightest star. Now it is considered the 24th brightest. In September 2019 it was 2.5 times brighter than in February 2020.

It is hypothesized that Betelgeuse is shrinking and collapsing in on itself before it will rebound into an astounding explosion that will be brighter than the moon. This supernova should occur sometime in the next 100,000 years.

The arrow is pointing to Betelgeuse, showing the star's position in Orion.

The arrow is pointing to Betelgeuse, showing the star's position in Orion.

Betelgeuse, A Poem

She was Betelgeuse.

Slowly fading,

A dying star.

Her heart shrinking, collapsing,

The rage growing, expanding.

Her brightness dims.

Dimmer and dimmer

Losing light over time.

Her brilliance deflated.

She pulls in on herself,

Cloaked by hate,

Rage wraps her up.

Wrapped too tightly

She sees him,

The cracks get larger.

Unexpectedly exploding

Out, rebounding,

Bright as a supernova.

The moon is dulled,

By her light, glazed.

He saw her now.

Hands on hips

She stood tall,

Wildness embodied.

She ran and stabbed him.

And stabbed him.

And stabbed him.

He fell before the onslaught

Overpowered by her


She knelt on his chest,

Stabbing and stabbing.

Slowing and panting.

Standing, blooded,

She lifted her face

To the sky.

Screaming a wail

Of sorrow and frustration

Out into the night.

“WHY DID YOU KILL THEM?!” she keened.

then she walked away,

Never looking back.

Betelgeuse, A Story

This poem is about a woman whose children were killed by a drunk driver. Life became unbearable without her children. She could not forgive the man who stole them from her. She went from a social, happy person to an isolated, tortured person. Her friends started staying away, feeling helpless to help.

The woman begins losing herself. Losing all that made her, her. She learns one day that the murderer who ruined her life is being released from prison. Trapped in a jail of her making, she cannot let this person have freedom.

She fights at the parole board. But, they say he has turned over a new leaf. They say he should get on with his life. She leaves, her face more white than usual. She cannot get on with her life because of this other. This man does not deserve a life after he took two.

She begins following him after he is released. Continuing to follow him, she watches through the months. He gets a job at an animal shelter. She watches and learns his routine. Then he gets a girlfriend. Later, she finds out they will have a child.

Him, who deprived her of her children. Him, who took her meaning in life and buried it. Him. She cannot allow him to enjoy his children. But she cannot bring herself to harm the woman and child. It was not their fault her life ended.

She finds the man alone and all the years of sadness and loneliness explode. All the pent up rage comes back. All she can think is that this man killed her children, he must not live.

He sees her as she runs at him, too late. Unprepared, she easily overpowers him. Killing him gives her feelings a quick release. But, somehow she doesn’t feel better. She should have felt better. Why does she feel so awful?

In a fugue, she walks away. Her mind wiping the event from her memory. Even when she reads the man is gone, she never thinks that she had anything to do with it. All she feels is relief and satisfaction, thinking her daughters are avenged.

Sometimes while sleeping, she has nightmares that she is stabbing someone. She awakes from these dreams confused. They seem so real. She can feel the way the skin gives resistance to the stab. And feel her muscles performing the actions.

But, recurrent nightmares are nothing to be worried about. However, due to the unsettling nature of the nightmare she begins to see a counselor. The nightmares are said to be a result of losing her daughters. It is her mind finding revenge.

Thinking she has found the truth, the dreams become less and less frequent. When she thinks about the timing of the dream, she tries to remember what she had been doing.

She remembers that she was sad and inconsolable. She remembers losing friends one by one. She remembers the rage and wonders how it was gone.

Deflated, she begins life anew. Calling old friends and going to dinner. Soon she was again a social and happy person.

When alone, she wonders why she thinks less and less of the accident. As if her children were part of another world. Yes, her friends say it has been 10 years and she has had time to grieve. But it is more than that. When she thinks of her dead children she feels satisfied.

It was just over ten years ago that her ex-husband (that murdering pos) disappeared. She realizes her hate for him has eased over the years. If only he didn’t drive that night, things could be so different.

© 2020 Kari Poulsen