Martian Microbes by Lauren McBride

Martian Microbes
Lauren McBride

They stretch out pseudopods –
interlacing, interconnecting, becoming
a vast mat of intelligence
beneath the red surface sand.

An amoeboid brain subsiding on
soil perchlorates and nitrates.
A colony of individual cells,
independent thoughts . . .

Another object is falling!
Then we have mere moments!
What do we do?
Slide out of the way – like before.

And when they don’t find us?
They’ll give up – eventually.
Or come here themselves.
But how many? What shape? What size?

We can’t hide forever.
Some will be caught.
Or killed –
Our intelligence diminished.

I’ve got a plan – let’s vibrate
to generate heat.
Yes! We could melt this ice . . .
And flood their object!

That might discourage them!
But there’s no time.
It’s too close.
Scatter!

Disappointment
back on Earth
as another rover fails
to find life on Mars.


This poem first appeared in Tales of the Talisman vol 9, issue 3, Winter 2013-14 in a slightly different form.

Martian Microbes by Lauren McBride 1

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