Lost Moon

Armstrong on Moon v4

How I yearn for an image of Armstrong –

Just one – to prove he was the First Man to stand

On the virgin land of an alien world,

The First Man to unfurl a familiar flag

As he sagged under the weight of Fate

And History, breathing rare and precious air

Brought from the blue and green bauble

Gleaming in the squid ink sky, a quarter million miles away…


Instead we have a mere five teasing glimpses of greatness.

This one shows his legs; that one, I think,

His head? A third: the toes of his boot –

The same boot, perhaps, that was the First Boot, the one

That crumped softly down into Luna’s dirt

As he took his famous One Small Step…


But none show his face, the First Face to feel

Sol-light beaming down from an alien sky, or

The First Eyes to stare, wide with wonder, at sights

Dreamed of by Man since the dawn of Time…


Surely there could – there should – have been one?

A single lonely frame could have been set aside to ensure

Historians of ages yet to come do not condemn us

For being fools? Was one in-focus, worth-a-thousand-words

View too much to ask? Was it too hard a task

For the men who built the Saturn 5, who pierced the azure sky

To order Aldrin to snap just one likeness of Armstrong,

To immortalise him, standing proudly on the Moon,

Gold-hued visor raised, his tired smile saying

To the watching world “We did it!”..?


This is the Portrait That Should Have Been;

The picture we should have seen on the covers

Of a million “Collector’s Edition” magazines

In the days after Eagle flew free.



© Stuart Atkinson 2009

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