“Astrosisters” by Brittney Corrigan

Brittney Corrigan


On the Earth that passes beneath, leaves brighten,
nova-like, in the cooling air, and young girls ready

their costumes for Halloween. Growing bones step into
flight suits with embroidered names, transparent globes

frame buoyant faces freckled with stars. Miles above,
two women navigate the Space Station in weightless

calm, their voices tethered to the woman in Mission
Control who talks them through each task, each

measured step to power the solar arrays. Like the pace
of this spacewalk, we have come to this moment

slowly: when the women do their work in the universe
and their male crewmates look out through the glass.

As the astrosisters climb their way back into the airlock,
Girl Scout troops are rapt with attention, teenage girls

in physics class follow the live stream on the miracles
of tiny screens in their palms, and the little daughters

not yet in school watch as the hatch door opens. And
where once there was darkness, now there is infinite space.

from Poets Respond
October 20, 2019


Brittney Corrigan: “I found myself mesmerized this week by the first all-female spacewalk that took place outside the International Space Station. Astrosisters Jessica Meir and Christina Koch spent 7 hours and 17 minutes replacing a faulty battery charge/recharge unit and completing other ‘get-ahead’ tasks while astronaut Stephanie Wilson guided them from Mission Control. The live stream was also narrated by women from NASA, and throughout the broadcast images from social media were posted on the screen, many of which showed young girls watching this historical moment.” (web)

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