by Liza Porter
Praise to my big brother, who while nursing his hidden wounds First Place WinnerThird Place Winner
turned a refrigerator box into a rocket ship.
Praise his kind heart and quick mind, his meticulous design
of the windows, the control knobs, the dashboard
the gadgets he had no words for, but were surely needed
to survive with no gravity, no air.
Praise him for spending days in our garage staring
into the long hot summer and making this contraption
with his bare hands and naked soul. For not giving up.
Praise him for not giving up.
My brother, who could have hidden in his room
or used his hands as fists, who could have scaled
the walls of our prison and escaped. But instead
built a spaceship and asked me inside -
his bratty little sister. And turned on that magic-fueled
engine with one twist of a knob and yelled: Blast Off!
not caring who heard the triumph in his voice or
who saw the flames in his eyes, and shot us up and away
from that harsh patch of earth with its cruel truths
and no one to tell them to, all the way up to
the shining face of the moon.