Sunday, September 27, 2009



We knew her long before her rich old Army daddy finagled a seat for her on one of the transports toAlpha Centauri.  A sizzling redhead with a mouth that could wilt an orbit ranger dead in his filthy-tongue tracks, Constanzia Burke gave exemplary meaning to that centuries-old admonition, “Step up to the plate.”  She feared nothing and no one.  From the time she was in grade school, high school, and then through flight school with us, Constanzia knew what she wanted and made no bones about getting it, even when it meant elbowing ribs, planting subtle but effective landmines in the path of competitors, and even resorting to that ploy, also centuries-old …sleeping with the director. 

Who knew back then New America would be planting its RedWhiteBlue on the third 
brightest star in the galaxy!  Those who had bet the proverbial “farm” on lunar expectations ended up in the poorhouse, but a man with foresight enough to tackle less popular possibilities would reap financial windfalls from exclusive claims to the mega-rich chromium mines on Alpha Centauri.  “Daddy Warbucks” Burke was that man.  

Second Wingtenants Mueller, Franklin, and I––all first trekkers with shiny medals on our uniformed chests to prove it––had landed on A. C. during the very first convoy of six ships; Burke’s daughter arrived on the second several years later.  We were not happy to see her, but we were even less happy when we discovered she had been promoted to First Wingtenant Colonel of all operations, military and civilian, the newly promoted brightest star in the western sector of the third brightest star!  

“If you think for a second I kicked ass back on Earth, you freaking dumb glass heads, wait till you see what I’m cooking up for you here on the big A.C.!”


Salvatore Buttaci’s poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that includeNew York Times, U. S. A. Today, The Writer, Cats Magazine, and Christian Science Monitor. He was the recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007 and second-place winner in the 2008 Poetry Super Highway Contest. Buttaci has lectured on Sicilian American pride and conducted numerous poetry workshops and readings. Retired from teaching, Salvatore Buttaci lives with his wife Sharon inPrinceton, West Virginia.  He can be visited at 

His new chapbook
 Boy on a Swing and other poems is available from 

No comments: