Posted by: iansales | April 12, 2011


Above his head, bolts fire, the hatch spins away,
sunlight pours in and he is immersed in day,
ending one hundred minutes of endless night.
He smiles to have made history with this flight,
then the ejection seat catapults him free;
he sees the earth rotate beneath him and he
experiences the call of the motherland.
He’s been where no sound can be heard, and no man
has ever been before, just dogs and dummies.
Hanging from his chute, he looks down past his knees,
he has seen the earth from the greatest height,
so high in an hour he went through day and then night.
The land now beneath him is the good green earth
of Mother Russia: it’s seen war, death, hope, birth;
he’s the angel of a new age, which will see
humanity leave this planet and set free
among the stars as written by Fedorov
and Tsiolkovski more than fifty years before.
O what irony then that half a century
has since passed and in low earth orbit only
we keep fast — but after he touched the earth’s face
Yuri replied when asked if he was from space,
I’m a Russian just like you, not from the skies…
and so to our world he reaffirmed our ties.


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