Above the crackle of the helmet’s two-way,
words, like sticks expertly flicked,
stripped away the vulnerable creases
of my protective suit; the atmosphere
suffocating - his purpose was clear.
Young astronauts on fledgling journeys
should never forget the stepping order;
the ladder, the dust, the gravity-reduced leaps
demand an order or consequence.
Others sat and listened, in visors,
like plastic travelling birds,
their occupied heads sagely nodded -
I am certain I heard them swallow
in sympathy and relief; the scraped goat
is preferred to personal flesh and blood
forced to bear the brunt.
even as the silence fell
swifter than an eclipse
the journey home
would be long and awkward –
its sails spread like an angel’s wings,
a rocket can soar upon the solar waves
and still encompass hell.