“Supernova “By NASA/ESA, CC BY 3.0,

The old woman is bamboo in a rushing river and drowning-

People behind her stand in the line-an Apple store.

They stare, cough uncomfortably. Ask to “go ahead.”

Firm with wrinkled hands,-a lifetime of doing dishes, making dumplings, shaping lives.“Getting old sucks.” She smiles.

A bird, the wind, a stranger…Daughter, mother, grandmother…

This marvel has powered a universe over these last eighty years but can’t hear her name as the “Operations Expert” calls it.

My hand on her shoulder. “I will be your ears today.”

Relief floods and the river is a stream. Her bones-they will shine in stars one day but today her name is just “Grace.”

Grace with the broken ears and broken phone.

A human supernova on an ordinary Tuesday on Earth.



Adrianne Alvarez-Jackson

Adrianne is an artist-educator whose writing explores her offbeat life; its traumas, victories, cultural ambiguities and the intersectionality of it all.