“InSight” by Elizabeth Coyle

Elizabeth Coyle


landing should be spectacular.
In truth, the hardest part

and soft, still, as if ours
but not. As in, goodbye

but only after the fact.
Like the constant gnaw

of days into rust. Do you
sing to yourself on your birthday?

Earth on Mars is called
mars. Pick up mars

and run it through
your fingers. Imagine

a little boy still excited
about Martians. Still

excited about Earthlings.
Still scared of the vacuum.

Tell him how far the sun is
from him. From you

and the mars on your shoes.
Tell him his tomorrow

is still further than yours. Tell him
it might not come at all.

Tell him you can’t see
the future. You don’t

have to tell him it’s dark.
He already knows that.

Crawl in circles. The boy
will wait, watching.

from Poets Respond
December 2, 2018


Elizabeth Coyle: “As I watched the news coverage of NASA’s InSight landing on mars (something I normally would be extremely excited about), I realized just how jaded how jaded I’d become towards the news, both good and bad. Everything had begun to feel like a moot point. This poem is a little blunt and a little hopeless because hopefully, if I can get those feelings into a poem, I can get them out of the rest of me. There’s still so much left to do.” (web)

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