Apollo 11, poem by Ron Cooper

Dish­es washed and dried,
Kitchen floor swept three times,
Coun­ter­tops pol­ished five,
Moth­er rearranges sil­ver­ware, dusts cabinets.

Father gets anoth­er cup of coffee.
“Go on to bed, Martha. If Gabriel toots, it’ll wake you.”
But she refolds the dishrag,
Looks out the win­dow, up.

A phone call this late usu­al­ly relays death,
But this night we know it’s another
Rap­ture watch­er offer­ing and seek­ing comfort.
“Them pew-jumpers are all shook up,” Father says
To me, nine years old, allowed to stay up late this long night.
I hear her flip­ping pages,
Read­ing into the phone from Ezekiel, Rev­e­la­tion, Psalms.

Neil Arm­strong steps, leaps giantly.
Father announces, “We’re still here, Martha.
No Jesus, no Devil.
Call the preach­er and tell him his job’s safe.”

She goes out to sit on the steps.
Lat­er, as a chuck will’s wid­ow wails,
And log trucks rum­ble on the dark highway
Like any oth­er night,
I look from my bed­room win­dow to the porch
Where light­ning bugs flash
And she sits, waits,
Stares at the sky,
At its awful sameness.

roncooperRon Coop­er grew up in the South Car­oli­na swamps and has lived in Flori­da for the past twen­ty-eight years. His poems, sto­ries, and essays have appeared in pub­li­ca­tions such as The Chat­ta­hoochee Review, Yalobusha Review, and Deep South Mag­a­zine. He is the author of the nov­els Pur­ple Jesus (which the Wash­ing­ton Post called “a lit­er­ary event of the first mag­ni­tude”), Hume’s Fork, and, most recent­ly, The Gospel of the Twin (which Fred Chap­pell called “an enthralling sto­ry!”). Coop­er teach­es at the Col­lege of Cen­tral Flori­da. His web­site is www​.ron​coop​er​.org

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6 Responses to Apollo 11, poem by Ron Cooper

  1. Danny lee Caudle says:

    Thanks Ron..love it..i going to reshsre..

  2. Chris Smalls says:

    It Ron­nie (AKA) Ron way of express­ing him­self awesome.

  3. Tobie Mixon says:

    Oh.…how I love it! I love your style Ronnie…worded like a true South­ern Gentleman…doncha know.

  4. Barbara Johnson says:

    That's won­der­ful, Ron! 🙂

  5. Ron Cooper says:

    Thanks, Richard!

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