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Deborah P. Kolodji is a single mother of three who supports her poetry habit by working as a network administrator. Her work has appeared in publications such as Mythic Delirium, Poetpourri, and St. Anthony Messenger Magazine. This poem appeared in the Nov/Dec 1993 issue of Star*Line (the newsletter of the Science Fiction Poetry Association) and was nominated for a Rhysling.

Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-1999 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

Ship Stowaway

by Deborah P. Kolodji

Whose idea it was I wish I could say
Lined up by my siblings along the bulkhead
Every inch the captain, Father bellowed that day
"Who brought the khat on the spaceship Flred?"

"Not I," we all said. "Not 'im," we all pointed
We were in it together, moving light-years away.
Father blistered in anger, he appeared double-jointed
Our khat purred in contrast, a most polite stow-away.

"Children, what were you thinking? The mission!" he raged.
"A family assignment is so tough to obtain
Our rations are scarce, the khat must be caged
I think I'll deep-space it," but we all cried in pain.

He smiled, "Oh, we'll keep it," and we sighed with relief,
"I know it's what your Mother would have wanted me to do."
Mother was his soft spot, we were all still in grief
She had died on our last planet, and so very young, too.

But we didn't tell Father, we've a few light-years yet
Our khat would help barter with the other ship brats
Before launching off-planet, we took our khat to the vet
Our spaceship will be having a litter of khats!