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Sunday, May 31, 2020


by Penelope Scambly Schott

The NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken as they made their way to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday. Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press via The New York Times, May 30, 2020

Speeches, music, drive-by
awarding of all 18 diplomas:
fire engines and ambulance
lead the noisy parade
through our small town.

I sit on my curb
raising my half-empty
mug of cold coffee
to personally congratulate
each gowned kid.

Two hours later at Canaveral
astronauts Bob and Doug
are rocketed into earth orbit.
Tomorrow they’ll meet up
with the space station.

can our 18 graduates go
in this time of quarantine
as the local wheat is rising
into small golden capsules?

Penelope Scambly Schott is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Recent books are House of the Cardamom Seed  and November Quilt.  Forthcoming is On Dufur Hill, a sequence of poems about a small (pop. 623) wheat-growing town in central Oregon.