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Last Day on Earth

What would you do? A poem.

airspacemag.com

Cloud City. This is the downtown section.

The day before launch
    maybe gone for a year
        perhaps half right
Your last day on Earth
    what would you do?
Robbing the piggybank of time
    to spend it on what ever you desire
We live in quarantine
    a flower by any other name
        that smells like white collar prison
You know your crew well
    they become your second family
I have said my good byes
    the hugs are done
        a walk on the beach
            and time for a good cry
You eat anything you want
    No one speaks of this as a last supper
        but it is
You time your bathroom habits
    do I drink my morning coffee?
Like a dike holding back the sea
    will my diaper survive
        oh the marvels of rocket science
A solitary walk with nature
    alligators
        cranes
            turtles
                no see-ums
decorating my ankles with nasty red bumps
    a parting kiss from Mother Earth
We study like students
    cramming for an exam
        this time a mistake costs more than ten points
Focus on your duties
    it won’t fail because of me
Like Samson’s hair
    my family
        the root to all my strength
            I will return
Oh how does one spend your last day on Earth
    What would you do?

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About Don Pettit
Don Pettit

NASA astronaut Don Pettit is an engineer by schooling, a scientist by profession, and an explorer by heart. He trains to fly in space and on occasion, finds himself in orbit. Don blogged for Air & Space during his stay on the International Space Station in 2011-2012.

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