A grapefruit-sized meteorite
crashed through the ceiling of a bedroom
in a New Jersey home, and people are barely
talking about the circumstances of the intrusion.
Maybe there are too many distractions –
In the same news cycle two inmates
escaped from a Philadelphia correctional
center through a hole in a wire fence
about the same size as the meteorite.
Both approximately 4-by-6 inches,
give or take approximations
and satellite imagery.
viewers look at the stars.
a glance towards Earth.
Rarely do infractions or offenses
occur at eye level –
triangular roof frames
search dog barks
chains of multiple dimensions
As the black rock slipped from the belt
of asteroids somewhere between Jupiter
and Mars, neighborhoods in Philadelphia
were searched and put on lockdown.
in need of safeguarding
the meteorite slipped
from gravitational arcs
as the men slipped
out of manmade cells
The 2.2-pound rock
from another world is approximately
4.5 billion years old.
Of the pair that escaped in Philadelphia –
one is 24, the other a mere 18. Held for gun
violations, narcotics, and murder charges.
Belts and budgets strapped.
Objects in need of ID.
Too many crash landings.
I wonder –
if space allegedly belongs
to all mankind,
why is safety only an idealized
version of reality
if security remains subject
why doesn’t everyone
break free of existing spaces
how have we traveled so far
only to unravel so wrong
About the Poem
A reflection on spaces where intrusions meet exclusions and collisions of many kinds.
About the Author
Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, works, and writes in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania.