Transmission from Jupiter
For the Juno Spacecraft
I made it. Five years puffed like a lung
then collapsed. After so many kilometres,
I thought Callisto would be smiling.
Thought Europa’s beaches would have surf
instructors, coconuts frothing with lunar slush.
Isn’t travel always like that? The sky is dark
but there’s no shade. Has the Red Spot
gotten smaller, or have I
just grown up? Days are short here,
and when it rains, the sky is a dive bar
strung with Christmas lights. It’s so nice
to get away from life. Haven’t worried
about zebra mussels since Mars.
Siberian tigers, well, that’s harder.
There’s muscle under all this
marmalade, and I’ve got a hand
on her flank. We’re going for a prowl
around the campfire. The forest is starry,
eyed. Keep your head in the flames
and you’ll miss us. You’ll miss us anyway.
Published online April 23 2018.
Claire Caldwell is a poet and editor from Toronto. Her first book, Invasive Species, was one of the National Post’s top five poetry collections of 2014. She was a 2016 writer-in-residence at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, and a 2013 winner of The Malahat Review’s long poem prize. Claire is currently working on her second collection of poems and a novel for young readers.