Tales of the Star Child

I wrote this over eight mornings, a few years ago, writing a pair of verses each day not knowing what story would unfold. In fact, I didn’t know until the third day, that there was a story being born. It began watching my then three year old granddaughter, sitting in a box pretending that it was a spaceship. I saw her as the Star Child. 

Like so many poems I write, they take on their own life when I give them room. Our oldest daughter’s living and dying, Sarah Jane, shows up frequently, dying eight years ago. Sarah Jane, 29 years old was 22 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She delayed treatment to give birth. She died 6 months after giving birth. Over time, my wife and I have unearthed new layers of grief.

The unsaid for years, was would she be alive today if she had not chosen to continue the pregnancy. We know it was her choice from the very beginning. Her journals offered no insights. And we were left with thoughts so painful that we could not say them aloud for several years. We began to open up that gaping wound, her mom and I, each in our own way, afraid of what the other might think if we said out loud the questions we buried with our daughter. I realized that as I began to write and to pause between couplets that the story was about our grandson, now soon to be 8, The Star Child, and grief transforming.


Born from cosmic debris, this a galaxy child
Come to being, choosing this, an uncertain life


The ripple in time-space
The birth of the improbable child


The star child traversed the galaxy
Guided by karmic threads


The star child burst forth from the sheltering womb
Tendrils of past lives – hopes and dreams trailing like tears


The star child watched from the ancient mountain
Ten thousand births – ten thousand deaths


The star child watched his mother being born
Come to life, girl, woman, daughter, mother


The star child saw his mother’s life unfold
Beginning to end and he cried when he saw his part


And now the star child sits, tears in his eyes, yet smiling
For now he watches his life, beginning to end, he sees and he understands


Star child, star child, thank you for telling your tale,
For choosing life even though you knew it meant death

About the Author

Robert B is sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.

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