Ear to the Edge of Time

They sent up a dog in the Sputnik, once

in the interests of science.She didn’t know that there was only

six days air inside.

And so what – dogs die everyday. Give one over.

Put down in kennels. Neglected.

So why, now, am I so haunted by

this whimpering canine, locked in a cab,

and shot into space?


Did they give her a window, at least?

Some evidence of where all that blasting rocket fuel was taking her?

Did it break the heart of the scientist who had told her

to sit nice and still – and did his training work?

Or when the rubbish dropped back to earth,

was the inside of the ship covered In deep grooves

and marked with scratches?


– Excerpt from the play Ear to the Edge of Time

BBC Science in Action podcast (22:54)