#416: A Poem About a Very Big Thing on April 11, 2022

What’s the biggest thing I know?
If we’re speaking about the things around the house,
well, then, the planet Earth is the biggest thing.
There’s nothing bigger on top of it–even the
largest animal, the most massive fungus,
the most enormous crater, the tallest building–
none of these things are as big as the thing
on which they sit, or live, or grow.
Wouldn’t it be absurd if they were?
But if we look outside the neighborhood,
the planet Earth starts to look pretty tiny.
Thirteen hundred Earths would fit inside of
Jupiter, for example, while sixty-three Earths
would fit inside Uranus. That was cheap,
I know. One is tempted, then, to say that
the universe is the biggest thing. But is
the universe a thing, or a collection of things?
I googled this. “The universe is often defined
as the ‘totality of existence’, or everything
that exists, everything that has existed, and
everything that will exist.” The universe
contains multitudes: billions of galaxies,
of which ours is only one, but while it contains
(or serves as a kind of container) for other things,
it most certainly is also a thing.
And I say,
It’s big.
It’s a big thing.
The biggest thing I know.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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