Back to Issue 12
For Rick Husband, My Soccer Coach and Pilot of Space Shuttle Columbia
Praise be to God
Who suspends the stars so we can reach for them,
Who weaves adventure into bones, wonder into skin,
And lifts us up to spirit, sets us dreaming
beyond the limits established for the sun,Who ensures no stray glimmer will scorch the Earth
nor wander past the boundaries of the deep.
For things born of heaven find their dissolution in the sky:
An astronaut’s lapel, radio silence, a coach’s note scrawled
to tell the kids of Jesus. He handed me a trophy
rapped by shreds of foam insulation, heat-shielding bent. before his ascension, before white wings were lightly
sensors twisted out from elevon in aerial display,
mission control abated to silence: When space shuttle Columbia came spindling down,
Blue sky. Flaming metal frame splayed on ripped
I watched my soccer coach combust. Cloud altar.atmosphere. Those silica flecks like Seraphim
Parousia. Holy pupils shot through with steel and light. fanned against eyes that had seen the glory of the Lord.
So praise be to God,
Who suspends children in whispers and mothers in muffled cries,
Who weaves hot tears through hardened concrete
And lifts the steam beyond the soccer field, ionosphere,
Centauri’s dark clouds, the sweeping arms of Milky Way
flown brazen around a pin-point black hole, Andromeda’s brash
glow, the electric nebulas of the Virgo supercluster, the network
of every star and structure, every boisterous quasar
cackling bruise-blue against the parsecs, the coldest void
where silence chokes Challenger, Soyuz, Columbia
back to dust, the untouchable God,
whose sovereign Word, ensured,
finds its dissolution in the sky.
By Nathan Jowers
Nathan Jowers is a M.Div student at Yale Divinity School studying theology and human diversity. He lives in New Haven, CT. His poetry won “Best Undergrad Poetry” from the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers in 2017.