Poetry: Scott Wisgerhof

For the Child Astronauts of Germany Circa 1912


You each must have been so
littered, clueless, and perfect inside
that tumbled container—Deutschland
 scuffing continuously from a specially designed
phonograph—on that future national holiday, that day
of peculiar velocity, rattling wood, thinning sky then black.

Now as your tiny skeletons grow
dense with ice, as your ship
compasses the globe, we celebrate
your communal satellite, we sing
of power transformers and the glory of things
strange and failed. As your orbit passes

over this house tonight, where so many
have gathered, where I am undeniably
the biggest dullard in the room, I cannot help but feel
that I am there with you. That greatness
is merely a sudden thrashing into one’s own

bodiliness. I know
each day you freeze and then melt
again as you pass the sun. The melting
must feel like breathing, the urine you spilled
onto the floor must turn
briefly to steam.


All rights reserved to Scott Wisgerhof

Poetry: By Matthew Lippman

Poetry: Christine Hamm