To Christy McAuliffe
Written after watching the disaster on television January 28, 1986
One moment, pulsing with life,
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
piercing the blue sky like a silver needle
toward the moon and stars
But you were cheated out of your dream.