In June of ninety-six they found a stone
From Mars with specks of dead the life long gone,
Not like the colored leaves upon the lawn,
Still steaming, breathing, like this flesh and bone.
If Mars is winter, not a comfort zone,
And Mercury new spring not quite yet dawn,
And Venus summer, gaseous to be on,
This leaves us Earth for a home all alone.
When this home is spent, the foliage gone bare,
Burnt-up carcass, life-sustaining no more,
We’ll scurry for passports, tickets to soar,
And fight for the right to breathe alien air.
Will there be room for an artist who weaves
Such sentimental lines on autumnal leaves?
(“On Autumn and Mars.” Flood Stage: A St. Louis Anthology of Poets 2010, Page 217. Editor Matt Freeman. Walrus Publishing: St. Louis.)