Could college physics get more interesting?
The professor says it’s pure physics. It’s
“The highest constant speed a free-falling
Body can possibly hope to attain,
No matter how long or far it falls.” Then
He marches us up sixteen flights of stairs
To the top of the tower, where he produces
A melon, rather large and ripe, which he
Unceremoniously pitches off
The side. We all strain to get a good look
As it arcs slightly away from the tower
Before hitting the ground and splattering
Into a zillion inedible bits
And pieces, soaking several terrified
Coeds who became unintentional
Participants in the experiment.
They erupt into angry epithets
Aimed at nobody in particular.
When the coast is clear, we all run downstairs
To glimpse the true price of scientific
Progress. The professor launches into
A rambling explanation of how much
Farther the melon’s guts would have splattered
Had it reached terminal velocity
First, before reaching the ground. But I think
It’s not the falling, it’s the sudden STOP
At the end that makes the speed terminal.
If only the professor’s lecture could
Reach its own terminal velocity…