The Mars Rovers

(Bouts-rimés on “After dark vapors have oppress’d our plains” by John Keats.)

Rolling across the canyons and the plains,
inspecting clay and crater night and day,
robotically steered, they toil away
beneath red skies, past rocks with ruddy stains,
yet never weary or feel the slightest pains
in camera, wheel, or radio. Our May
is coming soon when we will dine and play
and work beyond Earth’s blizzards, droughts, and rains,
and say in homage as our starship leaves
this world for worlds that orbit distant suns,
toting our tales contained in a trillion sheaves,
further and further from Sol’s warming breath:
“Once ramblers, rattling on their dusty runs,
had searched for life so we could sidestep death.”


(Appeared in The Martian Wave.)