Poyekhali! (Let’s Go!)

by Olga Dermott-Bond

Vostok 1 is Yuri’s little lunchbox,
                his spacesuit a scrunched-up
smidge of tinfoil. Lid on tight, he is
                a happy crumb of a human being
tumbling about, so forward rolls

look easy up here. Just outside,
                the giant cheese-moon is full and
smiling, and has picked Yuri first
                for her team. He knows when
he gets home the world will chant

‘Yuri’ like a skipping rhyme –
                108 minutes of doggy paddle across
the shallow end of the universe, tides
                of space-time to jump. Yuri feels
the same froth of excitement now, as when

the rocket launched, powered by love
                and fizzy lemonade. Far below, earth
is a marble in his pocket for playtime,
                a note the shape of Russia from Yuri’s mum
gives him permission to dance all day,

                the right way, anyway, upside down.