[Author’s Note: John Glenn, the first American in space and lifelong civil servant, died today. In my life there are three important things, three things that above all define who I am as a human being: baseball, Mystery Science Theater 3ooo, and the space program. John Glenn was a personal hero. This is a remembrance. 2016 can stop now.]
It’s a mighty long time to be alive, and quite
a long time to be a hero, too.
For you graced the Earth
and the space beyond it with your life
and now, like the stars you travelled to so long ago,
You are pure light.
A bow tie in a Windsor knot world, you were
and ever to the beat of your own drum
and ever to the cadence of the Corps drum
Your own man, but a man for us all
Your own man, but a hero
Although you would never call yourself that
You, who sat atop an explosive candle to prove
to journey, to explore
You who live and breathed and accomplished such bravery
To you, this was not bravery
Bravery was the example of your Annie
Your love, your life
The bravest person you had ever known, you said,
Was your own beloved wife.
And today it is Annie that I think of;
She who suffered cruel indignities as a child
but always had the heart of a lion
and the heart of a lion
and the heart.
Nearly a century together, it seems unfair
that you should be apart.
Godspeed, said Scott, when you made your trip beyond Earth.
And I, too, said it today when I heard the news.
You were the best one of the best ones, Mr. Glenn.
You were the last, and you will live forever.