Spaceman

Above the clouds and people on the ground
Beyond earth and the star that restrains it
In a small galaxy there can be found
A black hole, a spaceman, and his rocket.

This galaxy has its own neighborhood
Tiny planets, families, homes, and lives.
The spaceman sees it all as well and good
But on his rocketship is where he thrives.

He orbits ‘round an old and dying star
And the metal of his rocketship shakes.
He’s stuck! The ship can’t escape very far,
But if it falls too close it’s sure to break.

Along his circular path, there are rocks –
Small earths upon which live the spaceman’s friends.
Celestial bodies near, unorthodox,
And wave before the spaceman’s orbit bends.

He smiles within his home of tin and glass,
Alone, but with a hungry mouth to feed.
The black hole, if left unfed, might trespass
And swallow up the rocket in its greed.

The black hole yawns hungrily down below
As the spaceman opens a small door-latch
And, to sate the groaning void, makes a show
Of throwing things out of the rocket’s hatch

Down songs and books and sweets and letters fall
To fill the deepening hole from within.
These things the spaceman loves, he gives them all
To stave off his consumption once again.

Should the spaceman leave orbit, he’d drift off,
Directionless, and the void would follow
Expanding to consume until it caught
The spaceman, whom it would promptly swallow.

The opposite of flying far away
Would be just as bad for both man and ship
Flying close would mean orbit’s quick decay –
A rough descent on their last one-way trip.

The neighbors wondered why he stayed aboard.
“The spaceman could land here, if he wanted!”
They couldn’t see that he cannot afford
To leave the hole that had so long taunted.
 
He’d often wondered if coming to dock
Would, from the black hole, offer him reprieve.
But abandon ship to live upon the rock?
That was something he could not conceive.

The spaceman’s only hope shines from afar
Beyond gravity and glass that restrain
The beacon-light of a bright, distant Star
Speaks of new orbit that will one day reign.

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