Note: After 22 days of poetry there’s no reason why you should read a poem this long but if you do I’ll write a little thank-you poem & send it to you.  Love, Linda

Born on the Same Day

No scraps of time between
contractions, no rest
stops for breathing—blood
engine of birth. My son

is a bone & scarlet
asteroid hurling
between galaxies—my body
& St. Paul. Nine years

before & on the same
day, Commander
Gene Cernan scratches
his daughter’s initials in lunar

sand. He is the last
man on the moon. Of his walk
he says he wants to freeze
time. Back on earth—the gravity

of his marriage. “If you think
going to the moon is hard, try
staying home,” Cernan’s wife quipped
to a reporter. There was a withdrawal—

not black but muddy green swirled
with creek mud. Postpartum,
I’m told two decades later. By then
it had folded into me like heavy

cream in gravy. “Daddy, now that you’ve gone
to the moon will you take me
camping like you promised?” Cernan’s
daughter Tracy pleaded, oblivious

to the moon. Son,
did you feel like that when
your moods soared
& slumped? I stitched

you back together with the twine
of my life but the threads
snapped & now you’re
not here. I scream

my apology to what’s in front
of me—the cashier, the sassy
waitress in this street
corner cafe. You aren’t

listening, but your refusal
won’t stop me. My darling
boy, I’m so sorry. I love
you. Please forgive

me. I apologize
to my puppy, my key
chain. To this smothered bean
burrito. To the moon rising

above the skyline. Like Gene
you had a restless
streak. Once he crashed
his helicopter while chasing

a dolphin. “Let’s get this mother
out of here,”  his commanding
voice boomed & the Lunar
Rover torpedoed 250K back

to blue & green. Gene had
a deep hunger just
like you. After roving the moon’s
floor for three days he collapsed

in surrender & wept. Son, Gene
returned from outer
space & weightlessness. Huddling
with blankets & hot

dogs next to a popping
campfire we used to howl
our love—unbounded—
to the moon. Remember?