The way I had it figured as a kid.
This Mercury would be a relic now
Mounted in some museum, on display
With biplanes, trains, Apollo space capsules
And other tokens of our earthly past.
I never thought that I’d be plowing wind
In one of these old fossil-burning buckets.
Talking to you about such mundane things
As where I went to school or L.A. weather.
I figured that by my age things would change—
Instead of chugging California smog.
We’d live in free fall somewhere deep in space
Beyond the smothering hug of gravity.
Scouting the rings of Saturn, or mining ore
On asteroids, or terraforming Mars
The way experts predicted in my teens.