I’ve been here before.
Many sols ago I rolled to a halt
As the sky went strangely dark,
The Sun fading to a dull red spark.
I just waited that storm out,
Watched the Sun come and go,
Ghostly clouds of dust blowing over it
Day after dreary day
Until eventually they drifted away
And I finally felt Sol’s warmth on my back again.
But this feels… different;
This time I am scared.
I had no chance to prepare!
Suddenly the barely-there air was syrup-thick with fines
And I looked up to see a tsunami
Of cinnamon rolling across the sky,
Devouring the Sun like a dragon,
Day turning to night before my stinging Pancam eyes –
So now I sleep. But the evil dust
Invades my robot dreams;
In the darkness I see no electric sheep,
But as the tick-tock of my systems clock
Echoes down Perseverance Valley
Powder-puff grains rain down on me silently.
I feel each and every one as it lands,
Snowflake-soft, and as the wind wafts past my wheels
I feel helpless and alone.
Back on the world I once called home
They sit and wait for me to wake,
Staring at their tab-cluttered screens,
Fingers tapping impatiently,
Countless cups of coffee left untouched
As they whisper “Hush…”,
Imagining that if they just listen hard enough,
Through the moans and groans of the storm
They’ll hear me yawn…
© Stuart Atkinson July 2018