Theresa Haffner

Rookie - 81 Points (August 25,1945 / Plainwell, Michigan)

Childhod's End - Poem by Theresa Haffner

Once the world was larger,
much larger than today.
Time stretched on indefinitely,
as did the horizon.
The ‘steady state’ universe gradually
re-created itself out of the increments
of its own demise
so that life, like the universe,
had no beginning and no ending.
It had been there forever.
It would last forever.

Knowledge was infinite.
It was more than one person
could know or possibly comprehend.
Time moved slowly
The world of our parents
differed little from the
world of our grandparents
and their parents before them.
Change occurred gradually if at all.

The world was so much larger than us
that we were miniscule.
We didn’t have to worry about the world.
It wasn’t our responsibility.
All we had to worry about was our home,
our own back yard.
If we got in trouble there
we could always move down the road
far enough and start over.
The world would still be there
when we were ready for it.
Gradually we grew
(and also our knowledge grew) .
Time began to move faster.
The world became smaller.

Then at some point the perspective shifts.
For us I think the defining moment
occurred in July,1969,
when astronauts landed on the moon
and we saw the transmitted image of
the Earth rising above the floor
of the Sea of Tranquility.

Suddenly we are looking down the
wrong end of the telescope..

Now the world is smaller. Fragile.
It’s delicate balance easily upset
and impossible to restore.
As if we ourselves, by our knowledge,
have become larger than the world,
and therefore able to destroy it.

Now the Big Bang Theory
has replaced the ‘steady state universe’
overturning thousands of years
of ancient wisdom.
Now nothing is everlasting.
Nothing is eternal.
Everything must have a
beginning and an ending.

It is the end of childhood.

The sense of loneliness is
overwhelming.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011


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