Grounded

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The afternoon breeze
rushes through the top of my big tree;
its canopy sways and sings in hushed tones
as the declining sun ignites
its outermost leaves
with green fire.

Through swaying limbs
I see brilliant summer sky
promising stars beyond
if only I can rise high enough
to achieve black space;
but I’ve never been there, never risen
beyond this illusionary, flat world
that confines my sight.

Never have I ascended that pillar of flame,
pressed deeply against the astronaut’s contoured seat,
breathing noisily in helmeted glass,
as computers glow reassuringly in darkness ,
promising that everything will work,
and orbit will be achieved.

No, my space journeys are all interior.

Earth-bound, I am firmly cradled in my deep, leather chair,
and only through my high, arched window
view the nightly dance of wind and tree,
of moon and rising stars.

Envious, I hear excited starlings, one to another,
tell stories of daring flight
through the good sky, high
above this green,
firm earth.

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