By Stacey Balkun
..Love note for Sally Ride, 1951-2012, American physicist and astronaut
..who joined NASA at age 32 and became the first American woman in ..space.
How would orbit affect your ovaries,
your temper, they wondered. They doubted
a woman in space but you, Sally, your blue
NASA suit held your body—that courage.
A crater bears your name on the moon.
How could they ask if you wept
when things go wrong on the job? I wish
I could have met you, begged
for you to tell how it felt—floating
in zero gravity. We still gape, unable
to understand you, our necks tilted back
like we’re still watching the shuttle burn.
Stacey Balkun’s work has appeared or will appear in The Los Angeles Review, THRUSH, Bodega, Perfume River Poetry Review and others. Stacey was named a finalist for the Tupelo Press Spring 2011 Poetry Project and the Tucson Festival of the Book 2013 Literary Awards, and received the 2013 C.G. Hanzlicek Poetry Writing Fellowship. Stacey served as Artist-in-Residence at the Smoky Mountains National Park in the summer of 2013. She lives and writes in California.