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The Woman from the Krasny Perekop Textile Mill
Part of Space Poetry Family
Tereshkova
Tereshkova
Poem: traditionalists always fear women who fly...

traditionalists always fear women who fly
the hooded finger pronounces the sentence:
                                  witch
enflamed
leering eyes menace:
                                  meet your match
& the manne at the bar counter
grouse: just because we name you
                                  goose chick bird
doesn't mean you should take off, hey?

only when a suffragette flew at the king's horse
& her sisters touched down in parliament
could

       Raymonde de Laroche
              Amelia Earhart

dance with the sky

from Caroline Herschel to Carolyn Shoemaker
from Maria Mitchell to Patricia Whitelock
it was tough for angels to touch the stars

                     Valentina Tereshkova
                     Worked up a new tapestry
                     With weft of silk of parachutes
                     & the warp of skies

first
                                  but the seagull allowed to soar only once

Sevetlana Savitskaya welded her colours to the mast
                                  & her voice to the Duma
Sally rode the heavens
                                  lit the eternal flame remembering
Judith Resnik
                                  for whose devotion the sky exacted sati
Mae Jemison
                                  raised our colours, saluted Bessie Coleman
Helen Sharman
                                  commuted from a Mars factory to earth orbit
& Shannon's lucid e-mail

                     beckoning Heike Walpot

                     up from her Lufthansa joystick:

                     "the stars are always brighter
                     on the other side of the hatch."


--Keith Gottschalk





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