In the Shirt Pocket of Neil Armstrong

by Walt Brickman 📍

This poem is being posted in honor of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Tom Swiftbrick, in conjunction with the publication of our long-embargoed interview of Armstrong.

Oh, Tom Swiftbrick, what an amazing voyage you were on, To travel to the moon in the shirt pocket of Neil Armstrong.

Tom Swiftbrick. Photo from Bricklyn Eagle archives.

The thrill of the launch, the sound of the engines’ roar, The wonder and awe as the earth was left far behind and no more.

Through the vast expanse of space, you journeyed forth, As the lunar module descended to the surface in the dawn.

The tranquility of the moonwalk, the buoyant sensation, As you and Neil took your first steps, making history together, what exhiliration!

Neil Armstrong on surface of the Moon, with Tom Swiftbrick in his shirt pocket (before Armstrong placed Swiftbrick on the lunar surface). NASA Photo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Through it all, you were there, a small but vital part, A symbol of home and our common bond, so close to Neil’s heart.

And as you both planted your feet stepping out on lunar terrain, You shared in the triumph and the joy, the pride and the gain.

Oh, what an amazing voyage it must have been, To travel to the moon in the shirt pocket of Neil Armstrong.

A journey of discovery, courage, and Bricklyn’s will, A journey that we honor and remember still.

📍Note from Walt Brickman: Let me be candid, ChatGPT wrote the first draft of this poem after I entered several keywords and descriptors. I then made a number of modifications to the initial draft. Is this a good example of working with AI? or not? Let me know!

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