Chair Force Engineer

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Apollo Eight

At dawn's first light, the rocket lies,
Erect on the launchpad that dwarfs its size,
Awaiting the command to rise.

With crew aboard and countdown done,
Her engines roar in unison,
Man's greatest venture has begun.

The booster thrusts her high and clear,
Up through the stratosphere,
As anxious millions hold their fear.

Now beyond the canopy of life,
The craft cuts voidness like a knife,
To leave behind a world of strife.

Born of man's proud boast and claim,
Apollo Eight her christened name,
To carry freedom's flag to fame.

Toward a lunar orb she sped,
With unknown dangers still ahead,
Her valiant crew by duty led.

Close to the moon's terrain they race,
A nearly perfect path they trace,
With hurried care the view embrace.

From their slim grip on lunar girth,
To mark the eve of His great birth,
The Flight Commander spoke to earth.

A prayer for peace was his first thought,
Then from the book of Genesis he sought,
To comfort a world in trouble fraught.

Then back to mother earth they sped,
A small oasis in space so dead,
Outside this cloister they had tread.

The dream of centuries was now cast,
A few kilometers in space so vast,
Accumulated wisdom triumphs at last.

Ahead lie greater thrusts than this small shaft,
Discoveries that depend on plans we draft,
And men and quality of craft.

But mostly men...

--Major Michael A. Titre, USAF (ret.)