Requiem for Judith Resnick.

Author:Walders, Davi

The world looks great.

--Judith Resnick from the space

shuttle Discovery, 1984

Sometimes as though you were hovering, as

though you wished someone--anyone

to remember, I see you, a young girl

polishing her shoes, packing her lunch,

concentrating and deliberate, each choice

as serious as the dinner discussions,

Torah portion and algebra equations

that challenged you. Granddaughter

of a shochet, connected to ritual, family

and community, I see you, not here

on Bethesda streets walking among us

during your long years of preparation,

but far away, as in those one hundred

forty hours floating beyond the pull

of gravity or in dim, humming rooms,

just above charts and graphs, searching

green screens for red warning lights.

Pilot of your own fearless trajectory,

always the first to arrive, to board,

you are the first to settle into that

locked weightlessness, rising again

those last moments of lift-off given

neither wings, nor chariot, nor chance

to fly too near the sun, leaving us

only the grace of a woman doing her

job and the dignity of your name,

...

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