Moment of Reckoning in a Coffee Shop

“The Eagle has landed,”

the old man says,

his voice moon gravel,

his step as if lead

is lining the shoes

he drags on the floor.

Slowly he inches

away from the door,


and clutches his cane

like substitute bone,

slumps on a stool

and opens his tome:

“Twelve Steps”—

the first just to

start leaving home,

and presence of mind

to shave his white stubble.

One step for coffee

in place of a bottle.


One to acknowledge that

he lumbers slow,

and struggles to leave

the self that he knows.

One step away from

grief after stroke,

and life with his family

vanished like smoke


in space. A step closer

to taking his last—

the ultimate reckoning:

time moves too fast.

In total, twelve steps for

surviving mankind,

forsaking the planet of

past in his mind.



“The Eagle has landed,” and

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, 1969.

Leave a Reply