Eight Minutes to Liftoff

by Laura White

after Lauren Oliver
I picture her whole head going up like a match
lit by a flame of my own design
streaking the sky with a roaring light
bringing the morning once againTwo suns set apart by 8 minutes, housing
464 planes departing
840 people dying
928 vows of marriage
2,000 babies born
7,150,000,000 hearts beating
4,004,000,000,000 heart beats

An entire life of a mayfly begins and ends within the eight minutes that separate them.

Eight minutes to liftoff
Seven minutes to prepare yourself
Six minutes to pray for your safety
Five minutes to think about your family
Four minutes to reflect on your choices
Three minutes to check your straps
Two minutes to laugh at your situation
Sixty seconds to cry about it
No time to feel.
Goodbye, bluegreen marble in the sky
Hello, space.

Author Bio: Laura White is a senior at Warsaw Community High School in Warsaw, Indiana. She enjoys watching Netflix and playing with her golden retriever, Kaiser, in her free time. She plans to major in Secondary Math Education or Communication Sciences and Disorders when she attends Butler University next year.