Chuck Yeager

by Richard Vince

Memories stick immovably like shards
Of glass embedded in the fabric of my mind,
Their sparkling light catching the corner of
My easily drawn eye.

Something as simple as a number or a name
Can divert my attention along
Unexpected paths, fractal thoughts blossoming
And spreading exponentially, rust
Magnetised into lines that curve eventually
Back to the centre.

Are South African skies as blue as
The one that felt that first sonic boom?
Can the people of Boston still turn
FM dials to hear their local heroes?
Do test pilots still have names that should
Come with stats for runs batted in?

The years, I hope, have been kinder to us
Than they have been to social media
That existed before the term did.
I am so last century: moments that seem
Like yesterday now have the homely smell
Of my father’s books that were a playground
For my half understanding infant eyes.

There are feelings I will not now experience;
Heights to which I will not soar,
Dreams that will never be repeated
As my subconscious lowers its expectations
Of where my conscious mind will go.

They join the memories of the dreams
I always wanted that could have sated
My desire for the impossible; they grow
Cold and lifeless now the fires are dropped.

All, though, have made their impressions:
There are still fossils to be found, hiding
Under layers of history, protected from the
Passing years by the very thing that hid them.


Posted on 06/18/2017
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

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