Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

October 1957

Before midnight when the dew was heavy
on the back lawn of my father’s house
on Spring Street and the dark had pealed
back the outside skin of the town and exposed
it naked to the glorious night sky,  my friend Clark
and I saw the dawn of the age we live in still.

A single dot of light moved unstrobing across
the fall constellations moving from the southwest
over the common and Lanoie’s to the northeast
toward the Lemon Squeezer and the power lines.
It wasn’t much to see and left the stage like a chorus
girl who was never meant to be a star.  Still, we saw
it and few today are alive to say they did.  We saw
it in Goffstown, and we saw it together.

FG           8/17/2016

Of course it was Sputnik, the size of a grapefruit.  It did nothing but beep just to say I’m here, but what a difference that made – in so many things.  It turned our education from a focus on the liberal arts to science and math.  Clark Bagnall, my friend of a lifetime, thrived in the technology and all the rest of it. But I shook my head walked away and sat down on a stone wall to drink a beer and ponder . . . and sixty years on from that night I sit and ponder still. I wonder how many others remember seeing Sputnik?


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