Waking Opportunity


Maybe, if we all look to the sky

On the next cold, clear night,

Seek out Mars shining there like

A red-hot coal and wish really hard

Opportunity will wake.

Children do it all the time

And it seems to work for them.

On Christmas Eve they lie in bed,

Eyes squeezed tight, fighting off sleep,

Hoping to hear the stairs creaking

As Santa creeps down to leave

Gifts beneath their tree – and next morning

There they are.

When a tooth falls out they hide the white nugget

Beneath their pillow, wishing and hoping

For a calcium-deficient fairy to swap it

For a coin – and one magically appears.

Why can’t it work for us?

For two long months now we’ve waited

For her to phone home, checking our laptops

And phones to see if someone at JPL

Has Tweeted “She’s alive!”

But all we hear is silence.

Although her dust-curdled sky

Is clearing now, the softly-falling fines

Leaving Endeavour looking even rustier than before

Our brave girls sleeps on, deep in

A power saving mode computer coma,

Unaware of the sols passing,

Every marmalade-hued sunrise and sunset

Going unseen.

So maybe, if we all look to the sky

On the next cold, clear night,

Seek out Mars, and wish really hard

She’ll hear us, open up her gritty eyes

And with a yawn come back to life.


Let’s try.


© Stuart Atkinson 2018

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