Roving through the Moscow alleys
mapped by the radar of scents
a peasant mongrel stray
they snatched you
baptised you Laika.
Weightless you ended up nine hundred miles above
those same tangle of streets
and the dark taiga where your ancestors roamed.
The night sky is an arc of fire and ice
and you were out there on the frontier.
The earth a ball you nudged with your nose.
The moon a torchlight you barked at.
I salute you Laika
Soviet wonderdog
travelling at 18000 miles per hour
like it’s no big thing.
The only heroes
are the ones
who have no idea
what they’re doing.

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