Rocketmen

Two young men
   adult in size, still young at heart
sit hunched over a model rocket
on a summer afternoon:

First the parachute is neatly folded,
then the engine 
  -- a cylinder of hard cardboard wrapping solid rocket fuel
  is placed
  and the fuse is set.

They rush from the rocket,
push the electric switch and ...
WHOOSH!
50 feet!!  100 feet!!  200 feet!! 400 feet!!
into the clouds
and pop! the chute deploys floating on the wind.

There it goes!
   That way!

Off they go
   six feet tall each
   running like little boys
   down the suburban street.

Did you see a rocket come down!
It must be beyond those houses.

Off they go again
and there on a stranger's lawn
it lies
retrieved
to launch again ...

©2000, John A. Mills
Published in Shifting Skies; Poetry Now; Natalie Nightingale, ed. ©2002