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Aurora's Wheelchair

L. E. Arnott 1958 (Ormond Beach Fla.)

Aurora's eyes sparkle with
"a 35 mile an hour consciousness.
Nothing under 35 miles an hour registers on her retinas.
She has been in motion since the day she was born:
She started with the baby carriage. went to the roller skates,
went to the skateboard, now she's in the car,
and she's headed for the wheelchair."

Then one day, the scientists nanomerically
spliced an oxygene atom, creating a new form
of aerodynamic energy. In 3 years, stratospheric
dwellings were designed and sold to the public.
Aurora was spellbound by the advertisement:
"Are you tired of boring sunsets, limited horizons,
and the confinements of being earthbound?
Discover a new perspective of this world on the Argo.
Live like a human god at the edge of the Earth's
stratosphere. Completely self-contained, solar-
Aurora turned the voice off and imagined
leaving the Earth. She had always been repulsed
as a child at the sight of dirt, and asphalt as an adult.
She scoffed at Johann Wyss who had only been able
to imagine a Swiss family living aloft in a tree
like monkeys, or Neanderthals who stayed in one place.
It seemed natural that she should gravitate toward
the sky. Selling all her earthly possessions, she bought
an Argo. A dream became reality: Aurora went to live
on the edge of space.

The scientists could not logically explain why the
Argos began falling from the sky. The structural,
or mechanical, design flaws remained an insolvable
mystery. Only metals and plastics survived the impact
with the Earth. No corpses were found in the nanoparticles of debris descending from an altitude
of 50 miles above the Earth.

Aurora's ship did not fall from the sky. The daredevils
of science were ominously silent, except to say, that
Aurora's ship would eventually fall, and that Aurora was a nanocorpse that had exploded on the walls and windows of her Argo coffin. There were ethical arguments about
mankind's existential place in the Universe, the cost
expenditures involved in grandiose selfishness, and
the force of gravity that strangled the Earth.

Years later, charged with luminous solar particles,
Aurora's ship glitters in the night sky
like a man made star.
The scientists cannot comprehend
why Aurora refuses to fall
from her isolation
on the edge of space...

About this poem

Sci-fi fantasy

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Written on November 09, 2012

Submitted on October 17, 2021

1:57 min read
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