For all these years you were merely
A smear of light through our telescopes
On the clearest, coldest night; a hint
Of a glint, just a few pixels wide
On even your most perfectly-framed portraits.
But now, now we see you!
Swimming out of the dark – a great
Stone shark, your star-tanned skin pitted
And pocked, scarred after aeons of drifting
Silently through the endless ocean of space.
Here on Earth our faces lit up as we saw
You clearly for the first time; eyes wide
With wonder we traced the strangely familiar
Grooves raked across your sides,
Wondering if Rosetta had doubled back to Mars
And raced past Phobos by mistake –
Then you were gone, falling back into the black,
Not to be seen by human eyes again for a thousand
Blue moons or more. But we know you now,
We know you; you’ll never be just a speck of light again.
© Stuart Atkinson 2010
This poem was featured on the official ROSETTA blog the day after the encounter.
Thanks ESA! 🙂