Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moon Landing

I watched
The black and white
TV in awe
Along with
Millions of others
As astronaut
Neil Armstrong
A narrow
On the
Eagle Moon Lander
To become
The first
Human being
To set foot
On the moon
As a child
I had often
Dreamed of
Space travel
Of space rockets
Of Buck Rogers
Of space stations
And Flash Gordon
And of the evil
Emperor Ming
I loved to watch
The sput, sput, sputtering
Flying flat iron
Imitation rockets
That passed for
Special effects
In those days
Both Flash
And Buck
Had ray guns
And beautiful women
Dressed in
Skin tight
Evening gowns
Clinging around
Their necks
Who were constantly
In need of saving
Go Flash!
Go Buck!
Go Dale Arden!
Go Professor Zarkov!
Long before Star Wars
We had our new
Mythological heroes
A modern new
For the new
Space age
And the new
Atomic age
Into which
We boomers
Were born
Was it to be
Our destiny
To colonize
The stars?
It ain’t bragging
If you can do it!

And here it was
All coming true
In glorious
Black and white
The world’s first
Moon landing
Despite several
Last minute
Neil Armstrong
And Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin
And Michael Collins
The impossible!
The amazing!
The incredible!
And the whole
World watched
The flickering
Immortal images
In real time

“That’s one small step
For a man
One giant leap for
A perfect line
That Armstrong
Insisted he made up
On the spot
Pretty good poetry
For a rank amateur
And when we watched
Them cavorting on the
Lunar surface
Like two typical
American tourists
Snapping pictures
Planting the American Flag
Picking up moon rocks
For souvenirs
And for samples
That earth’s scientists
Would study
For years to come
“Yep” they said,
“Them’s rocks
All right!”
Well, gollololy gee!
Knock me down
With a feather!
Perhaps the greatest
Was seeing
Our astronauts
Our American astronauts
Return home safely
As if they’d been
On a shopping trip
To Sears and Roebuck
As if it was all
Just routine
No big deal at all
Neil, Buzz, Mike
And all the men
And women
Who have followed
In your footsteps
Thank you!
Thank you!
For making the dreams
Of millions
Of fifties era
Space crazed kids
Come true
For making
The future
Seem like
A place where
The hopes
of billions of people
the world over
For a better
For a better

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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