Stephen Hawking Needed Someone

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Poetry


In Memoriam

Stephen Hawking needed someone to keep him talking.
And what talking it was, the tablet of the cosmos snapping
like bone before the muteness that was really him
behind the voice the world identified as Hawking.
People, give it up for him!—our true voyeur of the universe
strapped to a wheelchair, his face-twitches converted into words
like galaxy, black hole, theory of everything.

Hawking needed help: a wizard of wheelchairs with batteries
connected to their backs that feed the computer that opened to him
language and the Internet, cellphones, TV and doors at his office
and in his home. Could you maintain this? said the sign
below the photograph above the back of his wheelchair.
I know what he meant: Even the universe is moving on over time,
spreading ever outward, spreading itself thin.

Photo by Hypatia Alexandria,  used and adapted under CC.

About The Author

George Drew

George Drew is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Pastoral Habits: New and Selected Poems, Down & Dirty and The View From Jackass Hill, winner of the 2010 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, all from Texas Review Press. His ninth, Drumming Armageddon, will appear in June 2020, Madville Publishing. He was a recipient of the Bucks County Muse Award in 2016 for contributions to the Bucks County PA. literary community. George’s biography will appear in Mississippi Poets: A Literary Guide, from University of Mississippi Press, edited by Catherine Savage Brosman.