• Iris Adams

Cassini Burns Up

Cassini burns up.

People thousands of miles away

Start to cry

Start to wipe their eyes

They pour a glass of scotch

They toast, and sing.

They say the words “brave”

And "greater good."

And “thank you.”

Cassini burns up.

Saturn is none

The wiser

Neither is the data processing system

Or the radar bay

Or the remote sensing pallet

Of a robot exhausted of fuel,

Gone into the eye of something


Gone to space junk.

The sky sits indifferent,

The planets orbit round,

The dust particles

Don’t stir

And a glass of

Scotch is poured.

Cassini burns up.

A mission of thousands of miles,

Of thousands of people,

A mission of years and time

And wires. One

To tread where we cannot. To see beyond ourselves.

Be our hands and our eyes

And dreams made real

Through the ever grasping

Length of our arms

Toward the widening horizon

Of thought.

Cassini burns up.

And people cry,

Because you were brave.

And you were good.

And that is the nature of love

Not for the sake of those

Who would feel it,

But sometimes for the sake of itself.