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Monday, April 18, 2011


by Catherine McGuire

To boldly go . . . every week, non-negotiable.
The paint-on-canvas sets no drawback
to this ex-Barbie fan, who drove plastic dolls around
in a cardboard convertible. Mentally I colored in
the grey-toned scenes, hummed the theme song
during recess, sneered at Gidget girls.

Adulation bubbled in awkward screenplays –
the situation on the bridge always required
two attractive 7th grade girls.
My handwriting flailed
as I raced to the romance:
always me and the Captain;
my best friend wore Spock ears to class
horrifying the nun in her earless white wimple.

When parents turned Klingon, treacherous,
their harsh gutturals power-mad –
what did they know of clean-cut  courage? –
I cloaked myself in the plucky ideals
of resistance and happy endings
far enough away to be possible.

Keep her at maximum, Scottie.

Always forward, where adventure waited.
But this destination wasn’t on the charts . . . was it?
The Captain’s pudgy face selling hotel rooms on tv,
my smooth-skinned youth dopplered in the distance.

Some warp drive shot me to this unfamiliar universe –
now, I watch red tracers over Tripoli,
actinic white shoom, shoom bursts
into Mizrata.
Fire when ready, Mr. Sulu.
But be careful.
Remember the Prime Directive.

Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with more than 120 poems published in venues such as The New Verse News, The Cape Rock, Green Fuse, The Quizzical Chair Anthology, The Smoking Poet, Portland Lights Anthology, Folio, Tapjoe and Adagio.