It took
Mom’s funeral
to bring me home.

Or what had been home
51 years ago when
I’d left
so young
the new frontier
with Dad after the split.

I’m a Lunie now.
My wife, kids, were born there.
Adjusted to being enclosed and liking it.
We are the tunnelers.
Comfortable in the small
spaces where
you must count your breaths.

But, then, coming down
sunk me into nothing I remembered
from my ten-year-old self.
Sky uniform blue? Mashed potato clouds?

I was thinking
gravity gravity gravity
the whole way down the
Clarke Elevator.
For though I’m a very strong man
on the Moon
on Earth I’d be as weak as a toddler.

The gravity was a killer
but it was nothing like the sky,
my magnified moon,
the stars shimmering and twinkling
more and more through the windows as
we fell.

In the wheelchair
on the ground
terrorized and fascinated by
a night time full of intermittent stars
my head lolling
I shut down. Passed out
from all that outer space.

I still get nightmares.
All far larger than
anything possible.
Yet nothing but thin air.
Me falling
up into vastness.

The next morning I woke in a bright hotel
to a terrifying sun
probing through too thin windows,
bigger and brighter than I thought possible.
I had to call the desk to find how to turn on the blind.
Then I had to fly to make the service.
In a airplane.
I shut my eyes the whole way there
relieved to find the thing
was a cozy,
secure tunnel
but those windows—
little reminders—
that we were
held up
by nothing more than all that free air.
Staring straight ahead
clutching armrests
they brought me drugs
for those fearful of flying.
They helped
a little
to unscare my wits.

Courage and
a liter of airport whiskey
was pretty much how
I managed the cemetery.
Loved that wheelchair.
Even if I could have stood
I wouldn’t have.
Racing the chair’s motor
from tree to tree
was how I kept from seeing
the falling up sky.
And gravity? Ha.
I loved that gravity.
Crush me more, gravity!

My wonderful mother
was gone and I missed her
we’d grown so close after Dad died,
talking and laughing through the delayed chats,
but, in that agony,
the urn couldn’t be placed
into that damn niche
fast enough.

The family must have found me rude.
Answers from between clenched teeth.
Drunk as much as I could be
to dull my vision.
And bolting for the van after it was done.
I couldn’t help it.
So grateful
the reception
was inside
and the glass was stained.

The rest of the trip I lied
when they wanted to show me places.
I had to stay inside to keep
from sunburn.
The gravity was
simply too much.

But I was the happy guest of honor:
fine with cards,
better with a drink,
loved meeting my grand-niece.
See the Falls? God no!
I could see that on video.
I just want to talk!

My last day
I remember little
as I took three pills
found in Mom’s sleeping meds
and stayed in a berth on a train
to get back.

When I finally came out of the fuzziness,
far above the atmosphere
on the ride up,
tears came to my eyes.
A stewardess offered help.
No need.

Just happy,
I’m almost home.

-Tycho Enclave 2058/01/14-


About tgrignon

I came I saw I rented the DVD
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