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Challenger

Updated on January 28, 2020
PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.

I love to revise and revisit poems. This is one I have never been satisfied with and I haven't touched or looked at it in nearly three years. I recently revised it and want to share it with you. The poem at the top is the original draft. Below that, I have included the latest draft, finished this morning. I hope you read them both and, if you're so inclined to provide feedback, that would be terrific.

Either way, enjoy!






STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.
STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik. | Source

Challenger

Revision: 1/28/2020

dedicated to the 7 crew members of that tragic shuttle mission



The rocket propelled

toward Heaven.

There’s a teacher on there,

mother told me.

Like your kindergarten teacher,

Mrs. Clark. With the astronauts.

She’s going to heaven?

I asked. No. She’s going

to explore space

and talk to her students from there.

Mom and dad embraced

And cheered.

Babel was upon us once again

as the rocket soared higher and higher,

a black and white outline

disappearing into the blue sky.

And then a small flame.

A puff of smoke.

A blast of smoke. And then

an engulfing. Mom and dad gasped.

On television, screams

Look, mom. It’s on fire!

I clapped my little hands,

and giggled thinking this

was the desired result.

Dad stood with mouth agape.

Mom shrieked as detritus plummeted

away from Heaven.

Later, upon seeing the pictures

of the astronauts, I asked

how they made them look alive.

Did they use strings like puppets

to make them stand up and fishhooks

to hold open their eyes and

make them smile?



all rights reserved. copyright Justin W. Price Jan 28th, 2012

*****

Challenger

(1/5/2014)

Dedicated to the 7 crew members of that tragic shuttle mission






In reality, I thought it was a television show,

But, I was only five, what else could I relate too?

I saw them. They smiled, they wore spacesuits.

They waved as they climbed aboard the rocket ship.

From somewhere, a voice began to count and then,

With ferocity, the rocket ship blasted into Heaven.

There’s a teacher on there, mother told me.

Like your kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Clark.

With the astronauts. She said. So it was real.

I watched, sitting too close as I always did.

My parents were close also-- too each other, in a

Small, rare embrace mom rested her head upon

dad's shoulders. Small smiles. I could see this

in the reflection as the rocket soared higher and

higher, a black outline disappearing into a blue sky.

And then I saw a small flame. A puff of smoke.

Mom gasped. A blast of smoke. Dad dropped his jaw.

Soon there was no rocket ship, only flames and smoke.

I clapped my little hands, and cheered thinking this

was the desired result.My parents pulled apart, Dad 's

mouth still wide open. Mom shrieked as debris plummeted

away from Heaven. And like that, it was gone.

Weeks later, upon that very same television, I saw the

astronauts pictures again. Mom, I asked, How do they

made them look alive? Do they use strings like puppets

to make them stand up and fish hooks to hold open

their eyes and make them smile?


all rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price Jan 2015.

working

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