The Woman Who Swam to the Moon by Charles Heathcote

There’s a woman I know who swam to the moon;
she climbed over sea and river, over estuary and stream
heard fools call stars stones and space mud-banks.
She swam with rockets like silverfish through carpet,
met astronauts with helmets as fragile as eggshells.
Carp lead spaceships between her fingertips,
jewel-skinned beneath the brackish water, space
the final frontier.
She held the solar system in the palm of her hand,
found that planets weighed no more than marbles,
shone in the sun like cats-eyes, a kaleidoscope,
explosion of colours, supernova.
And when she reached the moon she met a man,
he thought she meant to find him, this had been a quest
and when she said she only wished to swim her way through space
he introduced her to zero gravity; and forever she will float
for once you leave the earth there’s nowhere left to run.
©Charles Heathcote 2015

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