Man in the Moon

The blood moon rose so large
we thought we could climb on
and ride through its orbit,
so close I told my father
I wanted to meet the man in the moon.

Pulling down dad’s diaper
as my brothers held him up,
the smell sharp, acrid,
worse than anything produced by my kids.
He was beyond shame, beyond knowing.

When I was a boy
I used to hear things like,
‘We can put a man on the moon
but we can’t cure cancer.’
We can’t say that anymore.

He spent his career fixing
the machines that punched holes in film.
Exposure to emulsion chemicals
created the opposite of holes.
That, and 40 years of smoking.

It’s been more than 40 years
since a man walked on the moon.
I worry that soon we’ll reach
the point where no living person has.
So much has changed

but I’m still my father’s son.
I clean and change him,
and we set him back in his chair,
trying not to think about what we all become.
Live forever, Eugene Cernan.

David Mihalyov lives outside of Rochester, NY, with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. His poems have appeared in several journals, including Concho River Review, Free State Review, and Naugatuck River Review. He’s still waiting for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series.

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One Response to Man in the Moon

  1. lifecameos says:

    Yes, this is where crunch time comes, seeing parents at the end of their road here. So clearly stated in your poem.

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