It IS Rocket Science

(C) 2010 by Metta Anderson – All Rights Reserved

It just arrived/I’m so thrilled/My new computer/Beckoning me/to/ take off/the universe awaits

Fernando and I study diagrams/move things around/are we ready/what’s this cord/and that plug/ and this. . .

It’s like a time warp

We aren’t in Bogotá

We’re at/Cape Canaveral

The rockets/under the Atlas/ROAR with life/thundering/roaring/building up/collecting thrust

Are we ready/for lift-off?

The crowd watches/breathless

Walter Cronkite wannabes/run their mouths/commentary is meaningless

Engines burn/brighter and brighter/power increases/increases more/causes the earth to rumble. Everyone

can feel the strain/of the rockets/their desire to soar/be free

Then a voice/neutral/masculine/in the captain’s ear

“Eagle One/this is Canaveral. . .




The Atlas groans/relieved/surges forward/upward/skyward. . .

But in my house/we pause/we hesitate/and then

I push the button/”ignition”/green lights/flash on/it’s like a breath

The monitor/however/remained


We waited.

Nothing happened.

We waited.

Fernando leans forward/scrutinizes the screen/its blankness/its darkness/and then/ginerly/carefully

Presses a button/lower right corner/molecular noise/not a hiss/

The screen lights up/a bright happy red

We had blasted off.


2 responses to “It IS Rocket Science

  1. Rockk lascelle

    I assume that this is a metaphor for turning on your new computer or television or some other electronic gizmo and that you were in reality not flying on the Delta four rocket that just left this morning to put a satellite into orbit

    • Yes, it was a metaphor. But considering the state of my life right now, I sort of wish I had been on that Delta Four rocket. At any rate, I wrote the “Rocket Science” piece out of frustration, and apparently, it struck a chord with other people, too. Ecology be damned, what the hell is wrong with including clearly written instructions with any new appliance? The manufacturers’ attitude that the buyer can “intuit” what to do is basically sexist, as when men assume that women can “intuit” a recipe’s preparation for Baked Alaska because it contains merengue. And no, Baked Alaska is not a metaphor. Thanks for writing, and hope you’re well and happy!

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