Martian Landscape

January Swallow,
Why are you not away
To warmer climes
And better times
This Martian Winterís day?

The cruel ice carpet stretches
Cold and white for many a league;
Where is your sustenance,
The gnats and flies on which you feed?

Where is the mud and spittle cup
Which from the eaves was hung,
In which you laid
Your eggs and raised
A brood of chirping young?

Where is your mate?
He too has flown!
Yet still you buzz around,
Can you, like me, perceive the breathing
íNeath the frozen ground?

Can you detect the spark of life
Which from the trees is cast,
Though coldness cuts them like a knife -
Petrified and aghast?

Do you, like me, believe the frost
Will melt again, and green
Will burst forth from the wilderness
Where only death is seen?

Do you await the end
Of this bleak,
God-forsaken day?
Then rest your wings with me
Until the snows are chased away.

January 7, 1985

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