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Two Poems by Sophia Broz
"I Don’t Envy the Astronauts" and "Of the Sun, Death, and Mothers"
I Don’t Envy the Astronauts
I’ve never wanted to be an astronaut. Even when I was young, unaware of the dangers, the desire never crossed my mind. As I grew up my love for space grew. The sun in my sister’s smile. The way my brother grounded me— as if he was the moon— commanding gravity just for me. I saw the stars in everyone I met, all full of life, bursting with light. I heard what space is like— cold, gravity-less darkness. And then I look around At humanity—warm, tangible, so so bright. And I know— I will never want to be an astronaut.
Of the Sun, Death, and Mothers
Death knocks on my door, says He just wants to talk. I make tea, and we lay on the kitchen floor— frozen cold tile on my back. “Have you loved anyone your whole life?” The question catches me by surprise, but I nod— slowly, at first— speeding up as the question finally resonates. “Who?” “My—my mom,” I stutter over my words, but the answer comes clearly like an instinct. “She’s my everything,” I continue, unprompted, feeling a strange need. “What will you do when she’s gone?” Death asks, and I struggle to swallow, flexing my hands. “I will light a candle” I answer, my hands digging into the floor, pushing myself to sit against a cabinet “Why?” “Because it will be cold and dark” I say, “The sun will be gone, and with it— the warmth.” “Where is the sun?” “With my mom.” I answer, and Death stares for many moments. “Do you love your mother?” “Yes,” The word is said, as easily as breathing, the echoes of it carrying. “I love her so much it hurts,” I add, because it's a special kind of love. The kind where I’ve never existed without it, The kind I’ve never been without. “You’re leaving soon?” Death asks, and I am worried for a moment, until I see His back towards me, His front facing the boxes stacked in the corner. “Yeah, college,” I softly laugh, a half-smile twitching on my face “I’m going to miss her,” I blurt out without thinking, my eyes trained on the Sharpie sitting on the box. “Will she be gone?” Death asks, and I can’t help but laugh. The idea I have any control over that when He floats not five feet away. Still… “No,” I start, “but I will be.” I sigh, “I’m the one leaving.” “But you're not gone?” Death asks again, making me grab my cup, twirl it around— If just to have something to do “It won’t be the same.” “Why?” “I’ve never lived without her.” I shrug as I say it, fist clenched around the cup handle. “I don’t know how to do it.” “Won’t you learn?” “I’ll try, but— The nights will be cold, and the morning will not bring simmering rays of the sun— because it is back home.” “But you will try?” “I will try,” I say, the words whispering out through my barely parted lips. Death says nothing, which is unusual, but when I look to Him. He is floating towards the door. I follow on shaky feet. stepping over the floorboard that I know will creak as an instinct. Death is outside. Figure dark on the freshly cut grass of the front lawn “Why are you here?” I ask. And it feels silly, for a moment, to ask Death anything “I feel the world’s sorrow, I feel every soul’s pain, and there was two distinct ones here— full of emotions that usually come when I’m to arrive.” Tears well in my eyes burning my lashes— singing my skin as they flow— silent in their inferno. I nod again, startling when the door opens behind me, a voice following the sound. “What are you doing out here?” My mother asks, face twisting in concern. “Are you alright?” I turn away from Death. Her eyes are red rimmed, Her nose red— and I’ll bet I look the same. “I’m just going to miss you.” I collapse into her arms, burrowing my face into her shoulder— even though I have to bend down to do so, and it's been years since I’ve done that. “I won’t be gone,” she says, running her finger over my eyebrow— something she used to do back when I was a child, back when I slept by her side. “I won’t be either,” I promise, and when I look back, back to where I was just staring— Death is gone. All there is is me and my mom— under the warmth of the sun, smiling identical wide smiles, and that, I think, is enough.
Sophia Broz is a fifteen-year-old sophomore at Bellville High School. She has loved writing since she learned how, and has used it as a comfort and outlet, as she wishes her words will be to others. She loves exploring themes of mortality, family, and introspection, as she does in Complex inner-workings of a teenage girl.