In the Time it Takes

by Miranda Nolan
                                        for T.C.
It took five hours 
for anyone to find his car
crumpled beside the highway. It was 6:45 
in the morning.                  I slept that night
                                                 just like any other. 
In the school hallway, a small table now
preserves his memory: a vase of lilies,
his baseball jersey, a pile of graded essays
his teachers hadn’t handed back in time. 
There’s a red C+ on a history paper; 
he was always more into the sciences:
asteroids and nebulas, the brilliant
                 coming and going of stars. 
He told me once that it takes 
                 eight minutes and twenty seconds 
for light to travel from the sun to Earth, 
and if the sun were to one day click off, 
we would spend those minutes
just like any other,            basking 
                               in the radiant not knowing. 
I wonder now: is there anything in space
                                               that does not drift? 
On the hill overlooking the baseball field
there is a telescope in his name. I know 
it will never allow us to look out far enough
                 to see the darkness coming.