Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

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Falling Stars

I saw that graceful white shape land in the alien landscape of a dry lake bed in 1981, on her second flight -- the first time a spacecraft had ever flown twice.

She did not land this morning.

A blazing streak in the sky, flaring -- and shattering.

I can offer no words of my own at this point -- only tears.

Columbia and her crew -- Commander Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark, Ilan Ramon. We have lost some of the best our planet has to offer.

The arching sky is calling spacemen back to their trade
"All hands! Stand by! Free falling!" and the lights below us fade
Out ride the sons of Terra, far drives the thundering jet
Out leaps the race of Earthmen, out far and onward yet

We pray for one last landing on
The globe that gave us birth
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth

--Robert Anson Heinlein

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