This entry is part 89 of 93 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2011


When I turn on the radio I hear
the story of a dead NASA satellite
about as large as a schoolbus,

which is right this minute falling
to earth and poised to burn in re-entry,
scattering a rain of hefty debris

some time in the next few days.
Where exactly on the six inhabited
continents it will land is anybody’s

guess: though all the wags have
already suggested locations anywhere
from Downing Street to Alaska, to the White

House and Libya. The odds, however,
are about one in 21 trillion that any
of us will be struck by a scrapyard

piece that has actually hurtled
through fields of quietly pulsing stars.
In a manner of speaking, that satellite

has been falling since it was launched
into the atmosphere in 1991, in the same
way mold begins its inevitable descent

upon the wheels of cheese just
lifted out of their cloth, the coarse
brown bricks of bread the baker

slides out of the oven. Even now,
though the season has not truly turned,
the walnut trees have begun to lose

their leaves. The smallest animals
are lining their nests with seed and paste,
preparing to bury themselves in the dark.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Dear meadow vole disappearing into the woodsDear samba, dear bossa nova →

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