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Sixteen Inch Black and White
Marjorie Maddox



          square                                         portal

           of space                              to Space,
             that grainy,                    last frontier
               now front                   and center,
                  armchair               and moon
                         close companions.
Beyond camera and crew; beyond Houston; beyond
airwaves that ride high outside our knowledge; beyond
Mrs. Stouffer’s mashed potatoes, every mother, father,
sister, brother huddled about a set, those grounded
rabbit ears tuning us into a future beyond that edge-
of-our-seats shot filmed ’round the world; beyond all
that—we’re there, each of us, two-stepping between
craters, bouncing into wild blue possibility far beyond
1969 and our three-channel, living room imagination,
desperately dreaming of soaring beyond what we
                      already know of beyond.
From Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf and Stock, 2013).
Used here with the author’s permission.

Marjorie Maddox is a professor of English and director of Creative Writing at Lock Haven University. At the age of 8, Marjorie published her first poem in Campfire Girls Magazine. Twelve books later, she still loves writing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and children's literature. Marjorie is the great grandniece of Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ general manager who helped break the color barrier by signing baseball great Jackie Robinson. Learn more about Marjorie at


Post New Comment:
This poem is a delight. Every time I sit in my armchair I shall think ' moon'. Things that make you smile are always good for you.!
Posted 07/21/2015 12:53 AM
Forgot to say that after they landed we ran outside and looked up at the moon in wonder, imagining we could see them 'up there'; will never forget. Thanks for bringing it all back so well!
Posted 07/20/2015 12:18 PM
It was...just like that...beautifully written. I would love to go back to 1969 again ~
Posted 07/20/2015 12:15 PM
Beyond well done!
Posted 07/20/2015 11:12 AM
Posted 07/20/2015 08:07 AM
Larry Schug:
A very good, entertaining poem in so many ways. It's fun to think of the tv as a portal. I think we venture through portals and wormholes constantly. Thanks.
Posted 07/20/2015 08:01 AM
It was really like that back then, that little black and white tv with its antenna and the tv dinners too. Nice job.
Posted 07/20/2015 08:01 AM
The first step towards Pluto!
Posted 07/20/2015 07:55 AM
You did a great job with this one. I can remember every minute. Especially like "arm chair and moon, close companions". And, of course, I love the shape.
Posted 07/20/2015 05:46 AM
Oh the memories! Watching with my young family. Love the set-up of TV with rabbit ears. Beautiful writing. Good one!
Posted 07/20/2015 05:39 AM
Bravura poem, this!
Posted 07/20/2015 05:31 AM

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