Fly Me to the Moon — Poem by John C. Mannone

My backyard was a launch pad
for my dreams in ’58. I thought
the Hardy Boys were the smartest
kids in the world. They taught me
engineering, rocket science, love
of exploration. I scoured their books
for blueprints; junk yards for parts
later to become my rocket to the Moon.

It was easy to fly to treetops.
No fuselage from salvage. Just thrust.
Arms wing-down, legs straight,
streamlined to thwart drag of air.
And land soft as a kiss.
But what of the cold
vacuum of space? Don’t ask me
how we got there.

I woke up with every detail
of your geography cratered
on my mattress, but how do I get back?
I fall back. Gravity of sleep
pulls me into a dream still feeling
g’s, pressing me against the pillow
where you once had lain.

Fly me to the moon
where I can sink into the silt
and dust my dreams among the stars
to walk in tranquility, in that silent sea
floating free in the thinness there
where only eagles dare to fly,
where you were still a dream.

In commemoration of Neil Armstrong and his walk on the Moon July 20, 1969

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words, ‘I love you’
—Bart Howard 1954,
Frank Sinatra 1964


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