“Seventy-Three, or How Icicles Can Be Deadly”


Image borrowed from http://blog.seattlepi.com.

I sit, awestruck
watching as engines ignite
barely able to contain my excitement
hear the countdown continue
five, four, three, two, one
“we have liftoff” says the NASA voice

I sit transfixed
eyes glued to the tiny television screen
surrounded by two dozen classmates
cheering for a local hero
a woman
a teacher
setting out on a grand adventure

I sit, confused
watching as something goes terribly wrong
horrified
not understanding the explosion
“just debris falling off” says one teacher, hopeful
but I know
somehow I see through that ruse
and then finally the world knows
of Challenger’s demise

I sit, saddened
angry too
our teachers trying to help young minds cope
young hearts too
one boy says “it was an icicle”
and I scoff, and glare

I sit and reflect
how one moment could turn
from such immense joy and possibility
to such sadness
and finality


Sunday’s prompt over at Poetic Bloomings asked us to look at the big events that shaped our lives. I’ve lived through several, not the least of which was 9/11, but the first one, the one that I think forever shaped my world, was the Challenger explosion. The teacher on board was from my home state, so I had a personal connection to the event, however tenuous, and that day is forever etched in my memories.

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3 thoughts on ““Seventy-Three, or How Icicles Can Be Deadly”

  1. Yes, I remember this too. ‘We have lift off’ I remember the voice and then disaster. So much harder for you knowing the teacher on board. No wonder it is etched in your memory.

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