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       A Verse Narrative by Michael E. Mautner


& A Science-Chief

    Nearing nuisance point,
    she hovers 'round him in his labors.
    Planetary leaders have joined their neighbors
    in mocking him, and even she is plagued by doubt.
    Why?, she must ask.  What is it all about?
    At last, Lara spake:

    --     It is wrong, my love.

           --     He will be strong, my love.

    --     But alone.

           --     Cease your moaning, woman.
                  (Jor-El whispered)
                  I do not wish that he should wake.

    She obeyed, knowing now how grave
    the situation; praying Rao save
    her son if not herself.
    Her son slept.  Her husband
    gently set the child upon a bed
    of blankets red and blue, which capped
    a pedestal at the vessel's center;
    then, Jor-El brought down the capsule's crown,
    that would shield their son in his flight.
    Above, their world's night bled crimson,
    the stars seemed to quake, the ground
    beneath their feet began to shake, and
    Jor-El, with quivering voice, spake.
    "Such a pity," he said, "their not listening."
    His mate smiled and, letting flow tender tears,
    kissed his brow.  "I fear no longer," she said,
    "For now I know our history is not yet over.
     Due to your pure, noble efforts, my love,
     it, and we, will endure.
     Release him, my love, lend the stars our seed.
     It is my wish too; indeed,
     it is my last remaining need."
    They stared at one another and embraced,
    as, ignoring the cracking glass ceiling,
    the man threw a lever and
    his issue lifted into space.
    In wake of their progeny's launch
    the lovers were burned to ashes,
    and so were spared the sensations
    of Krypton's final self-destruction,
    an ignominious sequence of crashes
    that might have been preempted.
    Pride was that people's great disgrace;
    through it many a civilization passes.
    The fortunate ones leave a living trace.
    This time it takes the form
    of a baby's beaming face.

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