Asteroid Day by Agnes Marton

08/07/2017

 

 

 Image Source: Mood Indigo

 

Asteroid Day

 

The day the astronauts came to Luxembourg

to give a talk,

I was shopping for cabbages. It rained,

I passed skafandered bur oaks 

on my way from the Alima to Place d’Armes.

I thought the security guards would laugh

at the leafy green silence in my basket.

They just waved me

inside. I put my angry umbrella, X-large,

beside my seat in the first row.

 

After fan talk of astrophysicist Brian May,

co-founder of Queen,

who was not present but hey,

the moderator introduced the spacemen.

 

They were not giants. The woman

was wearing parched ankle boots and

jeans, no makeup, Nicole Stott.

She lulled the audience with how much

she loves wandering away

so that she could feel more connected,

then stepped to a banner saying ASTRONAUT.

 

I was the third in the queue. The questions ranged

from

who does the laundry in her household

through

bad habits of her famous (sic) crewmate, Leland Melvin

to

her favourite shade of pink.

She didn’t even smirk,

 

but when it was finally my turn and I 

asked her about the partially reusable Low Earth

orbital spacecraft system nicknamed Space Shuttle,

she lifted her chin and looked

as if she would trot past the crowd.

She might have felt the leprechaunish

odour of my cabbages.

 

Having finished her response, she

offered me a selfie. I said no, thanks.

‘Can I hug you then?’ ‘Sure, you can.’

She whispered in my left ear: ‘I, too,

often listen to “Ground Control to Major Tom”, but

now, 54, retired, I restrict myself

to patchwork art difficult to sell.’

 

 

Agnes Marton is a poet, writer, librettist, Reviews Editor of The Ofi Press, founding member of Phoneme Media, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Recent publications include award-winning 'Estuary: A Confluence of Art and Poetry', her poetry collection ‘Captain Fly’s Bucket List’ and two chapbooks with Moria Books.

 

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