Already half a legend, it ascends
Did these who died unknown
Ann K. Schwader is the author of Twisted in Dream (Hippocampus Press, 2011), Bram Stoker Award finalist Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam’s Dot, 2010), and four other collections of speculative poetry. She is an active member of SFWA, HWA, and SFPA. Find out more from her LiveJournal, Yaddith Times ( ankh-hpl.livejournal.com ) or at home.earthlink.net/~schwader/ .
I’m a child of the Apollo era. Although Wikipedia informed me that the shuttle was not named for Plato’s lost continent, the link was too apt to ignore. I had the first line or two at least a month early, but watched the launch on July 8th with tears in my eyes. The rest of the poem showed up a few days later.
Apollo 11 Eagle illustration is provided by NASA and is in the public domain.
Our times call ghosts to us. Though Homer knew
the power of dark blood to loosen tongues
parched centuries past silence, we insist
on sensory amnesia when the same
shades permeate the wreck of Port-au-Prince
with Pompeii’s wailings. While the limbless wraiths
who stalk Rwanda mourn their martyring
in Cathar accents, or some murdered girl
misnames her honor killing as sati,
we disbelieve… as if coincidence
alone explained such wounds of history
reopening afresh to slake a thirst
familiar as the ghosts of our bad nights,
& like them wandering unsatisfied
between hells happening that no one meant.
Ann K. Schwader’s poems have recently appeared in Strange Horizons, Tales of the Unanticipated, Star*Line, and elsewhere in the small and pro press. She is an active member of SFWA, HWA, and SFPA.