Cosmic conundrum

What you get is what you see – but what you see might not still exist . . .

A lonely little photon
Came rushing through the sky.
As I turned my head to see it,
It flew into my eye.

My retina absorbed it
And used its energy
To fire an optic neuron
That helped my brain to ‘see’.

And what it ‘saw’ was starlight
From the depths of outer space.
(That photon travelled light-years
Before it hit my face.)

The queer thing is that maybe
Its parent star’s now dead –
Its last-emitted photon
The one inside my head!

Well, little cosmic orphan,
You’ve really got me going:
Are stars and planets real or not?
There seems no way of knowing.

If sight is not reliable
At proving things exist,
I may as well just give up
And get extremely drunk.

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