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You have to crawl
before you can fly.

And so the longer journeys start out
with instruments and payload
sheltered
on the long ride
to the launch pad.

The rattle is almost imperceptible,
the ship nursed along
at 1 mph.

No foreshadowing
of the shaking and the sonic booms,
the creaks and moans
of leaving home,

just the lullaby
of slowly turning wheels
recalling great past flights
to the Moon

with enough space in the story
to insert yourself.

Baby steps.