My father sails the galaxies on glass and steel and light
My mother paints us pictures of bright things beyond our sight
My books tell me of marvels - of elves and ships and stars
I sit entranced as Voyager launches off toward Mars
Telescope, spectrascope, antenna-dish
Red-shift and blue-shift and galactic drift
Luminous measures, mechanics of lift
The Astronomer's Daughter has only one wish
Heinlein told of torch-ships, of tunnels in the sky
Goddard built us rockets to show that we could fly
Apollo 7 launches men, 11 lands them safe
Why must I be stuck on Earth, in gravity's pull and chafe?
Pulsar and quasar and hydrogen glow
Infinity squared and physics says "Go!"
Mathematic equations, mirrors just so
The Astronomer's Daughter thinks we're going too slow
*I'm younger than the Space Age - spaceflight? But of course!
*My father taught me magnitude, star names, black hole's force
*Velocity and red-shift, zero kelvin, fahrenheit
*He would have been an astronaut, but something stayed his flight
*Sputnik and Skylab and Mariner 3
*Grissom and Armstrong and fractions of C
*Jupiter, Saturn and Pioneer's free
*The Astronomer's Daughter cries "Will they let me?"
They've cancelled the Apollo flights, petitions all in vain
Will they let the shuttle fly or ground us once again?
Now I'm old enough to know the tragedy of this
We've climbed too high to cut so short our trek through the abyss
Stellar equations and venturi thrust
Silicon wafers and microdot rust
Fragile heat-tiles that crumble to dust
Astronomer's Daughter, hold fast to your trust
My father studies redshifts of the distant galaxies
Stuck on Earth we can but look out at the starry seas
But the promise of my childhood was of Space within our reach
The rocked flamed and thundered as we watched upon the beach
Venus and Neptune and Pluto and Mars
Asteroid, planetoid, meteor scars
LaGrange point stations and shuttlecraft cars
The Astronomer's Daughter asks "What of the Stars?"
*The Shuttle's named Columbia, she's NASA's joy and pride
*We finally convinced them and they sent up Sally Ride
*But still we've only got three ships, they range not very far
*What happened to the dreams we had of reaching to the stars?
*Rukbat and Algol, Rigel and Altair
*Castor and Pollux, the twins are a pair
*Betelgeuse bloodly and Procyon fair
*The Astronomer's Daughter cries "Do we not care?"
The planets still await us, the moon within our sight
The authors and the telescopes push back the rim of night
Our ships would span the distance out to Pluto and beyond
The Universe awaits us, and I would we'd carry on
Parsecs and lightyears and Pisces the fish
Helium, hydrogen, oxygen-gift
Telemetry, physics, molecular shift
The Astronomer's Daughter yet holds to her wish