I touch the future, I teach.
As Christa launches into orbit
my ninth graders skid across rutted city ice
to the main building, the boiler
in ours having malfunctioned.
Since I’m in charge, it’s my fault, of course.
Maybe we could send you into space, too, Ms. D.
I’m already there, I respond.
For three hours on backless lunchroom benches
they cram their fertile imaginations
into the small capsules of writing prompts.
Christa, cramped in her own capsule,
beams for seventy-three seconds
until the o-rings fail and the shuttle explodes.
When they hear, my girls,
who had been exploring other galaxies
on Christa's wings, collapse
their telescopes, regress to peering
into their mirrors, brushing their locks, for hours.
The results of the test
are nullified because of a glitch.
© by Liz Dolan.
Used with the author’s permission.