Image Source: Mood Indigo
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
who does the laundry in her household
bad habits of her famous (sic) crewmate, Leland Melvin
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.