The Cassini 500

by Robert E. Waters


What promises did you make, Bringer of Old Age,
That would send so many circling your belly,
Dust and ice and meteor splendors chasing
And chased, wrapping your radiance like so
Many rocks on parade.

Atlas, Prometheus, and Pandora, your shepherds all,
Their whispered resonance herding your sheep,
Molding and marshaling the march to solar slaughter,
While Pan pipes tempo from Encke’s bosom, rousing your
Nebulous children in the heat of your helium rain.

Slipping, moving, passing,
Fighting for the cup,
But never in a billion years,
Would you wave the checkered flag.

The Cassini 500

Illustration by NASA/Cassini 500