by John J. Dunphy

I had heard that you're never the same after your first space flight. Now I know it's true.

There were 15 of us on the craft. We represented 15 nations and six continents. As we stood before the observation window and watched the Earth recede, some of us were able to identify our respective nations. A few seconds later, we could identify only our continents. Finally, there was just our beautiful planet from which we were departing with such speed.

When the Earth ultimately disapppeared from sight, I looked at my fellow voyagers and felt an intense kinship with them such as I had previously known only with members of my immediate family. I formerly had thought of my nationality as American and my race as white. I now thought of my nationality as Earthling and my race as human. Each of my shipmates experienced a similar epiphany.

meal time in space
at the center of our table
a globe of Earth

An excerpt from my scifiaku chapbook "Stellar Possibilities," from samsdotpublishing. Drop me an e-mail for ordering information.
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