“I Hadn’t Cried in Twenty Years”

clarke_

Walking through the science museum

in Kensington, you stop once more in

front of the stack of wrought iron and

intricately machined cogs and gears of

Mr. Babbage’s computing engine and

wonder what he would

think of this modern world of vacuum tubes

and television.

Often, as you’d wander down the marble halls,

you’d look upon the spruce and fabric

bird hanging from wires in

the ceiling

marveling at that slightly

moldering relic.

You could just smell in its musty odor

far away North Carolina sand dunes

and bicycle parts oiled up in Dayton, Ohio.

You would push back your tortoiseshell glasses

and run long fingers through what remained

of your hair

and walk outside into dazzling sunshine.

Suddenly, you’re in present day 1969.

Florida seas lash out somewhere

and standing stark ahead in the middle distance

Apollo 11 is roaring it’s blood-orange flames

from lion’s mouths agape.

The thundering climax of sound

washes over you and seems to

dislodge your heart from

its rib-cage shell

and the tears in your eyes,

the first you’ve cried in twenty years,

pool up to float you on an ocean of

relentless emotion

which you sail – totally beholden

just as the rocket sets right it’s course

to sail to the silver moon.

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