Paper Rockets

Words by Becky, 19 NSW


Finding success when you are not built in the eyes of corporate perfection – an analogy


If I ever build a rocket,

I would make it out of paper.


I’d make it forty sheets thick and cover it in flame retardant glue,

But see that when it took off it would flop and fall

– and I suppose this, I knew.

And still, I would look at it sadly

And wonder why it didn’t fly higher

– it wasn’t robust enough.

So, I’d make it thicker.


I’d make a paper rocket one hundred sheets thick and cover it in flame retardant glue.

I’d duct tape the ends of the sheets to ensure that under pressure

It did not cave,

Or fold in on itself.

100 sheets is a lot of sheets thick

– it should not need any more help.


I’d set it up on my half-assed crafted stand and launch it into the sky.

Against the blue serenity of the clouds, I would watch it soar.

I would be so proud that I had made my paper rocket fly.

I’d be so excited that I’d spin in my place.

I would not see it reach the atmosphere for that was something I didn’t consider

– as if it would go that high anyway.


I’d see my paper rocket fizzle back down to me.

Charred and crumpled.

Hard and disgruntled.



I won’t understand why the duct tape didn’t hold it together,

Nor why the flame retardant glue didn’t make its flight better.

I will look at my rocket disappointed

And wonder why it had failed me given all I had created for it.

And I’d throw it away and leave it.

– maybe someone else will discover how many sheets thick it needed to be.


Illustration by AileenYou can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc

Posted in