Lutetia In The Light


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! 🙂

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