Poem: Challenger

Ghosts of ’86 Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion – by Hal Hefner


Written May 11, 2017

I wandered downstairs and turned on
the tv, sat about a foot away from it
still half asleep on a break between
semesters my last year of highschool.

I thought of the new classes I would take
when I got back to school and the ones
I had finished for good and the fact
the heating must have been turned on a while ago
as I hadn’t needed to touch the thermostat.

I wondered if we would have any more snow
because by February I was normally ready
for something different and thought of how
strange it was to be at home on a Tuesday.

The Space Challenger lift was on TV
and I sat and watched as my mom was at the top
of the stairs putting away laundry.

I mentioned to her that the space shuttle launch was
on and she said, “Oh that’s right,” with interest in a way
when somebody remembers something that is happening
right now.

I was watching, not understanding the meaning when
there was the explosion, ‘It just …exploded,” I said, in awe,
not believing my own words or what I saw of the
orange flash and the long strands of cotton clouds.

Then there were footsteps running down the stairs.


by Wendy Stewart

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