Up in Arms

Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station during his 340-day mission with his arms folded, of course.

Astronauts on the space station

Float with their arms folded

During interviews


If they don’t

Their arms float up

And they look like polar bears

Begging for food


Since there are no polar bears

On the space station

Astronauts fold their arms.

I think polar bears

Would love to spend a year

On the space station

Provided, of course,

That NASA keeps them supplied

With fresh seals.

The bears would be glad to get away from

Shrinking ice floes


And Coca Cola ad executives

Bothering them with a drink

They don’t want and can’t use.

Astronauts fold their arms

Not to barricade themselves

From torments real or imagined

Or so they don’t look like

Polar bears

Or even to dance the hora.

No, astronauts

Fold their arms

To embrace the world

Beneath them

To reassure all of us

Here below

And to hold us close

In peace.


Dan Verner

March 6, 2016

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