I'm sitting in the living room,
When, up above, the Thump of Doom
Resounds. Relax. It's sonic boom.
The ceiling shudders at the clap,
The mirrors tilt, the rafters snap,
And Baby wakens from his nap.
"Hush, babe. Some pilot we equip,
Giving the speed of sound the slip,
Has cracked the air like a penny whip."
Our world is far from frightening; I
No longer strain to read the sky
Where moving fingers (jet planes) fly.
Our world seems much too tame to die.
And if it does, with one more pop,
I shan't look up to see it drop.
— John Updike
"Sonic Boom" is from Telephone Poles and Other Poems by John Updike (Alfred A. Knopf, 1963). Reprinted with the permission of the publisher.
Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)