One of the proudest moments of my life was when NASA requested to use one of my poems in their tribute to the Mercury 13, the early women astronauts who blazed the way for others to follow.
I wept when I received that letter. Because in some small way it took *me* to the stars, too.
But it seems apropos. today of all days.
A Letter to NASA
You need all the engineers. They make the wings that fly
The wingless human being into the starry sky.
You want the people in the labs who feed
The hungry rocket beasts with all the fuel they need.
You even require the bureaucrat who knows how to get
The funds with which all these needs are going to be met.
But what you need the most, in the stars’ most shining name,
Is a voice to lift the spirit, is a roar to spark the flame –
Of all the things you need, although you may not know it,
Is a fierce dreamer of your dream, a visionary, and a poet.
I may spend the rest of my life watching the stars from down here.
But if you need me to help you reach the stars, NASA, I volunteer.
The stars, our destination... and while we wait, remember those who went there before us, in our names, who laid down lives for a dream. Remember them.