The Astronaut


The Astronaut
361 An astronaut goes for a walk
outside among the stars.
His trusty craft beneath his feet
has taken him quite far.
365 The sailor of the stars steps up,
and gravity takes pull.
What feels an inch becomes a yard;
brief flight elates his sole.
He climbs up to the viewing deck,
370 slow motion takes a while,
and at his goal he looks around
and cannot help but smile.
For ever since he was quite young
the moon was more than bright.
375 It was a place to touch and feel,
to study in the night.
He followed rules, excelled at math,
his shape remained pristine.
One afternoon then NASA called
380 and offered him his dream.
And so he stands surrounded by
quite frankly everything.
He looks out left at Mars’ bright red,
now right at Saturn’s rings.
385 The wonders that the sailor’s seen
can barely be described.
The brightness of a newborn star
looks magical this high.
The darkness of the universe
390 still makes him hold his breath.
Abyss had never seemed so black
until he trod its depths.
And even in his special suit
the cold pervades his veins,
395 but ice can’t numb his boyish awe.
He feels so young again.
There far below is planet Earth
whose continents conceal
a hundred hundred thousand men
400 whose tiny lives are real.
His job is truly wondrous.
It cannot be explained.
Some things need be experienced
to fully comprehend.
405 The astronaut proceeds back now.
The airlock guards his path.
He floats down to his office space
and documents a graph.
His toothpaste meal will have to do.
410 It’s roast beef, peas, and bread.
Then after he enjoys a book
he’ll float on up to bed.
Before he sleeps, he always looks
at photos of his wife
415 and little girl, who’s just turned three:
his newborn star – so bright!
And as he sails the universe
above Earth’s bluish dome,
the astronaut lies wondering:
420 how far away is home?

astronaut

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