Three hundred keepers grooming her;
All present for the race.
A sure thing, given industry,
Blessing, luck, and grace.
Our Mew has never failed before;
Two times has run the course.
With fearsome narrow piercing shape
And rocket-power force.
No bridle or bit hold her back
Nor span her mighty girth.
Today to leap away, she cry
Goodbye to mother Earth.
In the bunker, powderfingers
Waiting to retrace
The patterns practiced days and days.
Rotating into place
One hundred tons of frozen fire
Poised in morning light.
Silence in a white room, breathless.
Eyes upon the sight.
Second dawn explodes in thunder steaming
orange clouding heartbeat counting tiny
arrow rising slow from chaos leading
faster beating tower-clear hot fire pillar
growing streaking going thirty forty
up now look as
Curving track, a perfect vector;
Sudden subtle twitch.
Something slipping, watchers gasp
At glimpse of wild pitch.
Shining sinews caught by solid
Claws of gravity.
Mew has stumbled, smoky tail
Twists in agony.
Jagged hairpin slashed in white
Across the corkscrew sky.
Too heavy now, no second wind,
Not fast enough to fly.
Beyond the bend, the agonizing
Our wait begins.
Silence in a white room, pale.
This baby always wins.
Once around, we stare at numbers
Frozen black on green.
Release the breath, believe the darkness;
Mew was never seen.
Three hundred keepers, scattered, distant,
Sleeping home at last.
High-born heroes now but former
Members of the caste.
Blue room of crates, two workers stand,
Of vanity bereft.
No more to sing, no more procedures,
Sweeping all that's left.
Copyright © 2000, Kevin R. Boyce