July 20, 1999

“The Blue Marble”
photo by Astronaut Ron Evans
Apollo 17, Dec. 1972
Artist rendering by Audrey S. Rivers


For Neil Armstrong —

You succeeded too easily.

In these thirty years

too few men died.

We allowed three chances

to achieve the impossible.

Now we expect dreams to come 

true on the first attempt.


You who walked first

take one step back,

back to the Ohio farm

of childhood fantasy, anonymity

and midwestern practicality.


After thirty years

your once golden hair

grows thin as lunar air,

your body becomes

gravity’s victim.


You gaze at a field 

left fallow from another season.

Its desolation comforts.

You knew this 

tranquility before.


The moon again 

rules the harvest.

With scoop, you bend to break

this dark rich earth

and plant a seed.




Winner of the Bay Area Writers Association 1st Prize Poetry Award 2000

© 1999, 2000 and 2012 by Audrey Schwartz Rivers

All Rights Reserved