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!
dedicated to the 7 crew members of that tragic shuttle mission
The rocket propelled
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
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
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.
More of my poetry
- Fun With Words
a poem where the poet was clearly just having fun with words!
- The Junky's Daughter
a poem inspired by a photograph
- LAST CHRISTMAS (poem) and the revision process.
a revision of an earlier published poem.
- Nice Rock!
A sarcastic poem about pretty diamonds, flesh and blood
- She is a Garden
a garden metaphor.