Space Program

by Gary Hardaway

Mercury and Gemini disappointed.
Where were the sleek silver ships
capable of launching and landing
as they flew to Mars and Venus in hours?
What did I know of orbital mechanics,
thrust, escape velocities, and life support?

The actual craft- ungainly and slow-
never measured up to a boy's dreams.
The logistics of space and our survival there
are daunting, more fully understood.
Understanding, though, cannot assuage
the boy's abiding sense of loss.