Frank Coffman


A billion stars spread overhead
in the sky’s span of velvet black.
Remembering what she had said:
“The choice is hard—no coming back.”
So this was where the journey led?
This exo-planet void of life;
about the size of Mother Earth,
and, terraformed, it would give birth—
through centuries of work and strife—
to a new home. But was it worth…?

Deep down, he knew it had to be.
He knew full well the Earth was gone.
But he wished now dearly for the dawn
of a springtime day he’d never see.


Frank Coffman is a retired professor of college English and creative writing. He has published speculative poetry and short fiction in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Founder and moderator of the Weird Poets Society Facebook group, he also selected, edited, introduced, and did commentary for his Robert E. Howard: Selected Poems.

Editor’s Notes: The author said, “Copla Real is a sequence of two Quintilla. The Quintilla is an octasyllabic pentastich on exactly two rhymes, but the rhymes can never be a triplet, nor can the five lines end in a couplet. This leaves the options of ababa, aabab, abbab, abaab, and aabba. Since the Copla Real makes 10 lines, a four-line section is needed to make the sonnet.” The image is an artist’s conception of the habitable world, Kepler-62f. Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech.

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