I Did Not Know Mars Had Storms

Woman Walking in park Lake Havasu Joyce McCluskey
Havasu Walker. iphone 12 Pro iColorama app

[“We regret to inform…”]

They tell me she went striding

In the uplands of Tharsis

Alone, in her borrowed gadgetry.

There was a storm.

(I did not know Mars had storms.)

And somewhere in the red, red dust —

Like a cocoon, outgrown.

She disappeared.

Later, they found her suit.

Like an empty tomb.

I escape the soundbites, read no headlines,

Stop answering my phone.

In the anchorhold of my solitude

I study her postcards —

Search for clues, secrets, whisperings

Footprints in the red, red dust.

I finish the jam, wash out the jar.

Three pennies, a dime and a quarter so far.

—- C.S.E. Cooney, from poem Postcards From Mars