Friday, April 4, 2008

A Poem I wrote dedicated to Christy McAuliffe, the teacher who died in the Challenger shuttle disaster

To Christy McAuliffe

Written after watching the disaster on television January 28, 1986

One moment, pulsing with life,

the next,

your atoms scattered on the solar wind.

You never achieved your dream of sharing space with us.

Today we feel the weight of our chains even more.

We dreamed with you, Christy,

we left Earth's gravity behind

on the wings of your spirit

and we also "died"

Not knowing the wonder of space;

cheated out of our look back at Earth

through the window.

We are the

Children of the United States.

And we are

All the ones who could not go.

We are America

And we weep for you.

You took a risk.

You weren't afraid

to live fully and reach for your dreams.

It took us by surprise.

We took it for granted

It was supposed to be safer than a drive to the store.

But we now know

that space flight is not so easy.

We wanted to experience the voyage through your eyes.

What we saw was our own mortality.

We saw how brief life is

And how suddenly and without warning

We can cease to live.

A lesson in mortality.

You were a "regular person"

who dreamed of traveling into space.

You were our proxy.

You were there for us.

Our hopes and dreams went with you.

But fate clipped our wings.

We can not go into space.

Twenty-five times the shuttle went

beautifully up

piercing the blue sky like a silver needle

toward the moon and stars

But you were cheated out of your dream.

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