Unnecessary Employment         to Patrick Durgin
                                           the wise spaceman
                                    tilts his head
                                               Toward the shuttle bay
                                  in which the payload he has been paid to deliver
                              i.e., to place in orbit about the earth
                                          He stares into the sentimental infinity
                              My god, he thinks
                                            the open sky covering the North American continent
                             Looks exceptionally beautiful
                                                A wee bit of nostalgia
                                                       Has crept into his consciousness
                                    He wonders if he could be thrown out of his job
                                                 accused of crimes
                                 which are not considered as such anywhere
                                             He has simply made a mess
                                                             Of things
                               The holes bored into the exterior walls of the payload
                                         Left little heaps of plaster-like material
                                                      clinging to the interior of the bay
                                   His technique was antiquated
                                                  the holes were all too obvious
                                     Wasn't it a complete waste of effort?
                             Despite the surveillance of the well-fed oafs ordered to follow him
                                                     the wise spaceman
                                           Was totally immune to the cult of bigness
                                                                      In all its forms
                                     his deepening sense of contact with the world he floated
                                                              So far above
                                                 Was a kind of victory over death
                                                       He is gradually
                                                        picking up speed
                                         He has no doubt as to the value of this operation
                                                               Out of step
                                                   and having broken discipline
                                             His attention is focussed on the silenced
                                                                       solar panels
                                                    The isolated shapes remind him
                                       Of all the teachers and administrative staff of his son's school
                                       in the space between