Tag Archives: Maggie Rosen

The Crash of the Shuttle Columbia* as Recorded by a Thermal Tile
by Maggie Rosen

We are surprisingly lightweight,
reusable, some made from sand.

We would crumble to the touch
without the coating

so fragile

so silent

thousands of us,
designed to protect from the void and the heat.

Hours spent holding us in place as the cement cured:
the risk of problems outweighed
by aspirations –the fatigue of need.

Our reinforced carbon took a hit from foam,
debris during launch.

We felt near to death then, and even more as orbits occurred
suns set
chatter immigrated through invisible wires.

What is there to say? The temperature rose inexorably and we failed.

One fell in northwest Texas,

before the disintegration.

Can we blame her? Tiles are shallow,
not poets or engineers
when the wing’s leading edge rises to 3000 degrees

even heroes evade
release themselves of purpose.

*February 1, 2003

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.

Maggie Rosen
Maggie Rosen lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Most of her professional work has been as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages. Her chapbook, The Deliberate Speed of Ghosts, was published in 2016 by Red Bird Chapbooks. Learn more about her work at maggierosen.com.

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Volume 17, Issue 2 is now online

vol17iss2_cover_webCider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 2 is now online. Enjoy new poems and reviews by Katherine L. Holmes, Hillary Kobernick, M Ross Henry, Richard Dinges, Jr., Mario Melendez, Eloisa Amezcua, David Koehn, Lois P. Jones, Rhiannon Thorne, Katie Manning, Meredith McDonough, Devon Miller-Duggan, Francesca Bell, George Drew, Virginia Bell, Maggie Rosen, Colleen Michaels, Michael Albright, Karen Terrey, Judith Montgomery, Catherine Hodges, Ross Losapio, Billy Reynolds, Ed Bennett, Gary Leasing and Raphael Kosek.

Rules of Equestrian Statues
by Maggie Rosen

Ignore the rumors that Washington is weak, vulnerable. Many defenses remain stalwart:

Fort Reno, Fort Stevens,

Centrifugal guns ready to fire at enemies from land or river,

Men on bronze horses keep everlasting watch.

Mcpherson, an apt hybrid: a warrior astride an old boy made from a melted cannon.

Andrew Jackson, horse rearing, waves his hat to swat flies or tourists in Lafayette Park.

Sheridan’s horse grimaces at the heat and smog.

My car crawls down Georgia Avenue, the balloon stent

to an artery clogged with beer and deep fried fish,

The pawn/lottery/moneywiredanywhere/jerkchicken/Dominican hair/ places

Jostle down the hill to Logan Circle. This was

Camp Barker, an old horses’ stable that became

home to slaves who ran from Maryland and Virginia, until the malaria

Chased them back to Arlington after the war.

In Adams Morgan, near the zoo,

gardeners found the cemetery where thousands of freedmen lay

the choosing itself a new right and ritual.

When it rains, the basil and dill erode, the bones unearth.


There are apocryphal horse statue rules: a foot in the air and the rider’s dead,

Four feet on ground a death in peace.

The rules don’t apply in Washington:

whether the man or horse is running, riding or lying down,

The fate is still complex, unending, a meandering story that all of us own.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 2.

placesaver2Maggie Rosen lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.   She grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her poems have been published or are upcoming in Conclave, Barely South, Blood Lotus, qarrtsiluni, Sow’s Ear, Minimus, and Plainsongs. She has worked as an education writer and teacher of English to speakers of other languages.

See all items about Maggie Rosen

Visit Maggie Rosen’s contributors page.