Today's poem is by Kerrin McCadden


How do you tell your children it was never easy.
That the boards you planed to build their house

were contracts. The nails you dropped were pleas.
How do you tell them the bushes you planted

to build the yard never got the boundaries right.
A flock of cedar waxwings drew better boundaries—

shaking the hedge so you couldn't look away,
no matter which chair you had fallen into, exhausted.

Instead, tell them about Laika, how no one expected
her to survive space orbit. That they sent her up anyway,

just to see. She went up and achieved weightlessness
before she died, a few hours into the flight. Tell them

about the cover-up, the story they told for decades
about her living six days in her rocket home, being a

dog-in-space, spinning gracefully in her ellipsoidal nest,
food and water nearby, held securely by her safety harness,

panting the dog smile that sometimes means panic, but looks
a little bit like happiness. I think I was weightless once.

Copyright © 2014 Kerrin McCadden All rights reserved
from Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes
New Issues Poetry & Prose
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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