Shuttle Approach

from far off it is just a bullet
from the quiet buzzing fields around the Center 
      you begin to approach
See it sitting on the launch pad there
Clean, strong lines
A dart riding three bulging rocket tubes
You get closer and it gets bigger and bigger
Its perch on the pad seems only temporary
It longs to climb the air, it begs to rise
Sure there have been rockets before 
        (the skyscraper Saturn V)
but these were really only towers,
A tall pinnacle pushing the tiny capsule as high 
         as it could
But this machine is more like a strong horse
Straining sleek muscles at the reigns, wishing 
         to stretch and run free
And still she gets bigger and bigger
You have hardly gotten near the concrete plain 
      on which the tractor crawler rests,
Tractor treads taller than two men standing
         one on the other's shoulders
And she rises over you -
Boosters like five-million-old trees
Rocket engines the size of garbage trucks
The Nozzles
Her big wide body pointed upwards
And wide white wings unfurled
and you think: By God!
is a Spaceship!

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