July 22, 1996: I Shake Buzz Aldrin’s Hand
I shook hands today with someone
Whose feet touched the moon
Six months after
My feet touched the earth.
Few have been to the Moon and back
Via rocket ship.
I have been to the Moon though
And further. All over the known
And unknown universe —
Via the written word.
The written word has taken me places
No Earthman has set foot.
Not even Buzz Aldrin.
Today I tell you
I shook hands with one
Whose feet touched the Moon.
My feet were inches from those feet.
Actually, those feet never did touch the Moon.
A spacesuit prevented that.
My feet though
Have felt Moon rock below them.
My ears have heard alien poetry.
My tongue has tasted the rain on distant planets.
My nose has smelled the lairs of monsters.
My eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the end
Of many novels.
And it was fun to shake Buzz Aldrin’s hand;
Nice to get his autograph.
But tomorrow I will go on living
As I lived before.