Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012
The Eagle landed and Apollo’s progeny
took one giant leap
with tubes and tanks and dreams
to plant Old Glory on her final beachhead.
He walked into the cold, silent vacuum
as glasses clinked in Houston.
His winged and echoing words
understated the immortality of the deed.
From behind mics and podiums
and museum glass he watched
his household name proliferate.
And on the night the inevitable darkness
swirled down over his eyes
the moon flew itself at half-mast.
The distance between mankind and immortality,
though leapt by few,
has never shrunk. Yet on certain nights
its massive amber draws our hearts
and flings them moonward
like an arrow from Apollo’s bow.