Poem By JUSTIN W Price
(dedicated to the 7 crew members of that tragic shuttle mission)
On television, the rocket ascended forcefully towards Heaven.
There’s a teacher on there, mother told me.
Like your kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Clark.
With the astronauts.
She’s going to heaven?
No. She’s going to explore space
and talk to her students from there.
I watched my parents embrace, heard them cheer,
as the rocket soared higher and higher, a black outline disappearing into the blue sky.
And then I saw a small flame.
A puff of smoke.
A blast of smoke. And then
an engulfing. Look, mom. It’s on fire!
I clapped my little hands, and giggled thinking this
was the desired result.
My father stood, with mouth agape.
Mother shrieked as debris plummeted
away from Heaven.
Later, upon seeing the pictures
of the teacher and the astronauts on television, I asked
how they made them look alive.
Did they use strings like puppets to make them stand up and fish hooks
to hold open their eyes and
make them smile?