On Earth we could have stuck posters up
On lamp posts and trees,
Desperate pleas for keen-eyed passers by
To get in touch if they caught sight of you;
We could have put handwritten signs
In shop windows, with phone numbers
For those with any information about your whereabouts
To call if they saw you in their garden
Or running down their street.
But there was nothing we could do
Except wait, for days, then weeks.
We sat glued to every TV news,
Tuned in to every radio show
Hoping to hear that you’d finally phoned home,
That it had just been a problem with the radio
And your barks had been heard by one
Of the DSN’s huge ears scattered around the globe –
But nothing, and so we had to let you go,
Let you trot over the robot rainbow bridge
Without saying a proper goodbye,
Left to wonder what might have been
If our Beagle had survived.
© Stuart Atkinson 2018