poem10 Sep 2012 07:56 am
The red-tailed hawk
searches the air for thermals,
its pinions fingering the alien sky.
It shoulders its way past pink clouds
and soars in lazy spirals
above the thorny blue plain.

The scientists watch earnestly,
their eyes pressed to binoculars,
hands tapping at keyboards.

No motion of prey is visible
through the dense foliage.
A glint of water in the distance
beckons with the promise of fish.
The hawk banks toward it,
talons flexing.

The water explodes as a catapult fish
launches its jaws skyward,
trailing a long intestine.
Serrated teeth snap closed
and the catapult fish reels in its mouthful
of struggling prey.

The scientists sigh,
cross “hawk” off the long list,
and wish again that terraforming
was not so full of assumptions.


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