The step backwards

Matthew Herskovitz

-inspired by the New York Times obituary for Yuri Gagarin


 The world’s first man

in space found a way


                                  to die on Earth


                  as he should have.

Even Noah found land again.


                                   Earth charred under plane

                    wherever debris


                tore off, wherever jetsam

                                      stuck its broken twisted metal.


But it grows again. Green shoots


                                                   flora back

                                 in the wound; the place never died.


                We know how this goes. It’s life for life,

                                                  flowers budding pale by the headstone,


petals brighter by the day.                               We’re all here to remember.

The bones of a man bleached in the sun.

About the Author

Matthew Herskovitz is a writer from Baltimore, Maryland. He is a graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park with plans to pursue an MFA in poetry. His works have been published in Words & Whispers, New Note Poetry, The Shore, Red Lemon Review, Stylus, and Laurel Moon.