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The Tangled Skein (Alistair Kinnon)
by Hugh McCracken
The author writes a tribute to the astronauts lost in the Columbia disaster.
One contrail signalled launch
and seven souls left Earth's ties
while still bound to our hearts.
They saw dawn tread continents,
and thunderclouds wink
like fireflies over oceans.
They peered down
at conflicts shriveled to nothing.
We cannot blame the stars
for inviting them in,
or beg angels to send them home.
So contrails scarred the sky,
searing our hearts
with a script of unlived dreams.
Now seven new stars shine,
their faces touched by God.