Thursday, July 7, 2011

Laika ~ Nicholas Beaumont

I wanted to do something nice

for her - she had so little time left to live.

I took her home to our kids who threw

a ball for her, and my wife gave her

a bowl of brown jelly. She’d come

such a long way from the mongrel we

found in Moscow, shivering in doorways,

sniffing footprints in the snow. We didn’t

tell the kids about the preparation,

keeping her in gradually shrinking cages,

locking her in cupboards for weeks at at a time;

or the announcement to the world shortly

after launch: that there'll be no return

mission, Laika will die in space, 

doomed to an eternity of bouncing 

comically off the walls of her 

space-coffin, a furry corpse oblivious

to the stars and planets shooting past like

street-lights. Sometimes its easier

to believe what I tell the kids: that she’s

still up there, alive and well, whizzing

around the universe in her tiny metallic

football, yapping at aliens and traveling

further than man ever could.

1 comment:

Old 333 said...

Perhaps, when the aliens from the future come back to save us (tapping fingers desperately), they will make what's left of Laika well again, and return her to Earth - unless she wants to travel on...

...thanks for the poem! Liked it a lot.