We are surprisingly lightweight,
reusable, some made from sand.
We would crumble to the touch
without the coating
thousands of us,
designed to protect from the void and the heat.
Hours spent holding us in place as the cement cured:
the risk of problems outweighed
by aspirations –the fatigue of need.
Our reinforced carbon took a hit from foam,
debris during launch.
We felt near to death then, and even more as orbits occurred
chatter immigrated through invisible wires.
What is there to say? The temperature rose inexorably and we failed.
One fell in northwest Texas,
before the disintegration.
Can we blame her? Tiles are shallow,
not poets or engineers
when the wing’s leading edge rises to 3000 degrees
even heroes evade
release themselves of purpose.
*February 1, 2003
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.
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