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RIP, Dr. Sally Ride

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RIP, Dr. Sally Ride

Post by fljustice » Tue July 24th, 2012, 3:41 pm

Dr. Sally Ride, first U.S. female astronaut in space died of pancreatic cancer. I'm a contemporary and she was an inspiration to many of us. She kept going even when NASA said, "No." (The Russians sent a women into space TWENTY YEARS before the US.)


Here's a poem I wrote several years ago after the birth of my daughter, and updated recently after the last shuttle launch.


"You can be anything you want to be!"

I have stars in my eyes.

I scan the sky for Echo, a silver orb spinning through the dark.

By day I hide under my desk from the menacing mushrooms.

"One giant leap for mankind."

I have hope in my heart.

I watch the pictures from the moon, imagining a future bright with promise.

Flag-shrouded boxes stream home; students die.

"Girls can't be astronauts."

The weight bows my shoulders.

There are no more rockets, no more footprints on the moon.

We take back the night, but not the sky.

"How do you go to the bathroom, Dr. Ride?"

I laugh at the absurdity.

Graceful birds circle the shining globe carrying their fragile human cargo.

Others die of hunger and bombs in ancient struggles for life and dignity.

"The Challenger is gone."

I choke on my sobs.

We stand still for years and mourn our mangled dreams.

Seven brave people lost in fire and water.

"From 'Freedom' to the moon to Mars."

Empty promises.

People are without food, in a world of poisons.

They lift their eyes to the stars and find the night filled with spies.

"You can be anything you want to be."

I hug my daughter.

Planes, towers and bodies fall from the sky.

Wounded warriors and flag-draped boxes stream back from distant shores.

"STS-135: The Last Shuttle Mission."

I let out my breath in a long sad sigh.

Shuttered sheds, fired engineers, astronauts aging and dying.

The children who carry on, will they have stars in their eyes?
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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Post by wendy » Tue July 24th, 2012, 6:06 pm

She was a great inspiration. I'll always remember the newspaper heading when she went into space - "Ride, Sally Ride."
Thanks for sharing, Faith.
Wendy K. Perriman
Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)

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Post by LoveHistory » Tue July 24th, 2012, 7:47 pm

That's a beautiful poem, Faith.

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Post by rockygirl » Wed July 25th, 2012, 12:00 am

She helped make science and math subjects that it was okay for girls to like.

I remember that same headline.

Lovely poem, Faith.
Currently reading Cocaine Blues.

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Post by Ludmilla » Wed July 25th, 2012, 1:24 pm

Thanks for posting the poem, Faith.

She was very inspirational and involved in many programs. She participated as a public speaker in several of my firm's events, such as our Women's Initiative. I know many here who looked up to her.

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Post by fljustice » Wed July 25th, 2012, 7:45 pm

Thanks, everyone! I posted a tribute on my blog:

http://faithljustice.wordpress.com/2012 ... ally-ride/
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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