Imagining Mrs Armstrong

(Janet Shearon – Neil Armstrong’s first wife)

382,500 miles
of nothing anybody 
has done before
and you out there
in black and white
like Charlie Chaplin
with a different hat

those shimmering images
the age of light-speed, 
my sweet, I'm here with our 
two boys, holding the rails
while you tango
with moonstones
say hello to the President
if you must

but remember
we're waiting bravely
for the day you come
a home-seeking fireball
into the cold kiss
of Earth's sweet ocean
hero to a zillion eyes

you and i though
must  just believe in blue

20 thoughts on “Imagining Mrs Armstrong

  1. You sparked a strange thought, reading this. It kind-of is and it isn’t related. When I had my stroke, I was the one who got all the attention (what little attention thire was, I got it). My wife was sitting there thinking “christ, my husband just had a stroke”, and nobody was interested.
    It just struck me that we as a society always focus on the primary, never on the partners.
    This is just my observation, anyhow. I wonder if your husband feels the same?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s very true. People do ask after my husband… and the kids. There is recognition of the impacts on family. My husband is difficult to get clear answers from. I do try to check in with him. I think he’s doing okay. 🀞🀞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope so. familieswill have the patient’s attention, even if nobody else’s, so that has got to be good. It’s kinda this perverse/reverse scenario where the patient needs to be there to offer support of their own!
        It’s just something I found weird, anyhow, with my own recovery, but I tend to overthink things.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah. Having watched other partners caring for loved ones who have long term illnesses, it’s pretty full on. And, in our case, my husband was already doing a full time job and fixing our house after the flood. I really felt like the bitter icing on the none too sweet cake!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Those thinks might seem like additional responsibilities but perhaps they provide us with a means of escape?
        When I’m up tight about something I tend to throw myself into work, because I can effectively put blinkers on and blot out the world. I often can’t make a difference to the world, but I can make a difference on my own projects.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I hope you’re right. My husband is certainly very good on focusing on the task of the moment. πŸ™‚ He did say last night that, after I got the PET scan results, he felt a huge relief. And from that he gathered he must’ve been quite concerned previously but hadn’t actually registered it specifically.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So many different kinds of distances, but I’m guessing Armstrong’s wife experienced one of the farthest physically of anyone else. Charlie Chaplin allusion is wonderful as well as the fireball and cold kiss of water and how it is just blue that they both hold onto. Truly lovely, worms.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful poem.
    I love the film Apollo 13 because it does show the wives and their experience of waiting at home, in fear.
    I was lucky enough spend a few hours with Harrison Schmidt many years ago – I had the job of meeting him at the airport, taking him to a conference, etc. I felt a bit stupid, as a young and very junior physicist in the presence of the only scientist to walk on the moon. I asked him “were you scared?”. He said “no”. I should have asked “was your wife scared?”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, I can’t remember. I have been going through my drafts folder on WP, either deleting, posting or working on and posting. I have reduced my drafts from 48 to 4 in about ten days. So I started this quite some months ago. I kept looking at it and last night I finally found the wherewithal to finish it off and post it. Sadly my reserves of started poems is nearly depleted. Hopefully fresh inspiration will hit!


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