Water on Rocks
By Mary Lou Taylor
Oh, you red planet!
Did you once have beings running around,
keeping herds, building shelters, planting?
Once did you have water?
Spirit and Opportunity—they surprised you.
Twin robots hunkering down on opposite flanks,
busy poking at rocks, maneuvering, searching soil,
mining for minerals. They didn't go away.
Spirit hung around five years, then got stuck.
Opportunity soldiers on, a ten-year-old, golf-cart-sized
robot, exploring, working Endeavour Crater, looking
to see if you were once warm and wet.
Opportunity spotted a rock called "Esperance,"
filled with clay minerals. Acid water, undrinkable,
once flowed across it. Hey, Mars, we know you had
a wet past. Today you're cold and dry.
Earth needs to know your history. Let that Opportunist
be a geologist who walks around your surface, uses
a hammer on the inside of a rock, digs in, picks up
dust particles. Mars, get ready for your close-up.
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