A poem written after my Soyuz TMA-1 landing in 2003.
Oh Mother Earth, embrace me
with all of your weight.
I am pressed into your bosom
and like Atlas, I carry the World’s load.
I leave the comforts of an orbital womb
and am born a second time.
Rudely thrust into the world of weight,
my chest sinks from heavy load
my arms do not move at my command
and my head spins.
But there is work to do, we must keep our wits.
We want to survive this test to prove our
worthiness for life on Earth.
And finally, our just reward,
the sweet smell of freshly tilled earth
and of crushed spring grass.
The Sparrow’s song greets our ears.
Did we perish and land on Heaven’s door?
I spew bile and mucus into desert soil,
a reminder that I am still among the living.
Oh Mother Earth, I have returned