Space Age Disconnect

An Asian man joins me on the street corner
as I watch the International Space Station
fly overhead in its 90-minute orbit
He has been here for just two years

explaining, I thought, the sadness behind his eyes.
His face lights up when I recognize
the name of his country.
Oh, you know Burma?

When I look up Burma on the Internet
I read of the horrors this man’s people
are enduring in his homeland
where he has left his heart

half a world away by time zones
centuries by culture
45 minutes by space station

—Karen Kerans, Milwaukee