Into Orbit

by Angela Acosta

High time for a rocket launch
on a humid Florida night,
I remember turning my eyes skyward,
captivated as I focused on a burst of light
soon to hit escape velocity into orbit.

From a minivan in 2004, we watched
one of the last space shuttle launches
as I fervently hoped Cape Canaveral
would become a spaceport by the year 2050,
just in time for middle age nostalgia to greet me.

Craning my head back as my short legs
stayed on terra firma, born from this 1g environment,
I knew that I would be the next adventurer.
I’m surely small enough to fit in a spacesuit,
ready to learn the technical skills and acquire lifetimes of wisdom.

By 2030 I had decoupled from the ISS
to go further into the blackness,
carried as far as gravity waves will take me.
I stared out the porthole like a princess of old,
my own human reflection looking back in recognition.

I’ve reached orbit and become weightless
like the stars around me, I am part of the cosmos,
the rich vastness of a future no longer tethered to gravity,
but charmed by the ebbs and flows of solar systems,
even as I age and my cosmic companions outlive me.

© 2022 Angela Acosta  All rights reserved.

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