A Room on Mars by Herb Kauderer

A Room on Mars
Herb Kauderer

Age and radiation tell
Clarkson it’s time to retire
but after decades working
the asteroid belt
he has no interest in
landing on Earth
where the great outdoors is tiny
compared to all of outer space
and people constantly leave
their boxy rooms rather than taking
their rooms with them to explore.

So Clarkson sinks his savings
into a used Martian rover
travelling between
the five Martian domes
as if he commands a cruiser or
rides an ice asteroid
on a mission to
to quench the thirst of the planet.

In his mind he is still a loner
dwelling among space fragments,
but in each neighborhood
the old-timers greet him
and pull him for a friendly drink
creating a social gravity
that eclipses any loneliness
and keeps him orbiting
among the cities.

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