The tiny echo

February 2016

Gravitational waves
were detected last week, I said.

What are they? she asked.

It’s Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, I said.
Think of space (spacetime, I should have said)
as a rubber sheet.
Where there are heavy things on it,
like stars and planets, it bends
downwards. That’s gravity.

Oh! she said. Of course!

Yes, like ripples, I said. Einstein predicted it
years ago, and now he’s been proved correct. Of course.

But gravity is very weak.
It takes something huge
to make a tiny echo.
They detected the tiny echo
of two black holes whomping together
(my two fists punched each other)
a billion years ago.

A billion years, she said.

Yes, I said. It’s all over the web.
Everyone knows.

I didn’t know, she said.

From A coat of ashes