Saturday morning, February 1, 2003,
Space Shuttle Columbia, at end
of a 16-day mission, was thirty-nine miles over Texas, gliding at mach
18 toward a Florida touchdown, when it disintegrated in flight, with the
loss of the shuttle and its seven-member crew. The nation and the world
went into mourning.
It was not until Sunday morning that I got over my
own shock and began to think of writing a poem for the occasion.
Although I considered working in a longer form, the brevity of haiku
seemed more appropriate so close to an event that was not yet
understood. In this case, the poem seems not so much to inform the
reader as to elicit the reader’s own deep feelings. At least, that’s
what I hope it does.
may write more later. For now, it is perhaps enough to say to Michael
McCool, and Ilan
Ramon, “Rest in peace.”
poem was indirectly the inspiration for “Meta-haiku.”