“It’s not dust, they’re fines,”

A grizzled veteran will sigh

Nearly every time a fresh meat newbie

Complains about the stuff,

Wondering why the ads on YouTube and TV

Never mentioned the Misery of Mars;

Why the cute girl in Emigration

Didn’t warn in their interview how

The damned rusty crap would get everywhere,

Clagging up their hair; drying up their throats;

Stinging in the corners of their eyes;

Scratching their visors no matter now hard they tried

To keep them clean;

Clogging up the seals of gloves and boots;

Staining their snow-white cost-a-King’s-ransom EVA suits

Fifty shades of rust within a few sols

Of their giddy arrival.


© Stuart Atkinson 2018

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