Beautiful Disaster

The Astronaut That Never Took Off

Charles says
"Things don't go wrong and break your heart so you can
Become bitter and give up. They happen to break you
Down and build you up so you can be all that you were
Intended to be." While he takes a giant bite of his Super-Sized
Double Cheeseburger, ketchup squirting onto
His white collared shirt, buttons pulling apart
Resisting each other. Wiping his face with the back
Of his hand, crumbs of the bun, snuggle into his beard
As he begins to complain about his job And how much
He hates his wife and how he always gets the short end of the stick
Laughing, he recalls boyhood aspirations of becoming
An astronaut, and for the first time in the five years
I see the glint of blue in his gray eyes, but like a flame on a match
It burns out quickly and he takes another bite of his hamburger
Smiling, I can't help but wonder, What happened to Charles?
Why is he an accountant, instead of an astronaut?
And I imagine a young boy, running around the house
Wearing a cardboard box on his head, with a cut-out
Just big enough for his face, until his Daddy reaches out
From the Lazy-Boy Recliner, and pulls the little boy in,
Close enough so he can smell the Vodka and says
"Shut the hell up!" And throws him down on the floor.
Was that the moment? That broke his heart? And is an
Accountant really all he was ever meant to be?

45,739 Poems Read