To the Stars
for Katherine Johnson
Your contributions were a quantum leap
above what any man could do, you,
a Black woman, in a time of domestic
unrest was charged with bringing man
to the stars. No one knew how to do it,
how to push beyond Earth's boundaries
& touch the celestial lights. But you knew
the calculations, the formulas to factor a
man breaking through the planet's
atmosphere. Or allowing a man to set
foot on the moon or contributing to
the development of the space shuttle.
You, once a hidden figure, now
a celebrity, a genius whose contributions
will orbit our world for all eternity.
Shirley Jones Luke
Shirley Jones Luke is a poet and writer, Ms. Luke resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Shirley has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her work focuses on culture, family, and society. She has attended writing workshops all around the world, including in Paris. Shirley is working on her poetry manuscript. You can also read her poem Watch Me Rise in Dust's Landscape issue, here.