Lo, I have traveled far into space
Three hundred, fifty-two million miles.
Endured eight and one-half months of trials
To perpetuate the human race.
The rover named Curiosity
Has been a useful incubator.
Its wheel has kept me safe and sound for
Preservation of humanity.
I’m a hitchhiker, the DNA
Of a very careless mechanic
Who coughed on the rover’s wheel when sick
And contaminated it that day.
Now, Curiosity’s wheels are down
The tread is buried in the hot sand.
I know extinction is not at hand.
I puff and gloat, “The new guy’s in town.”
Bring on radiation, cosmic rays.
Like the roach, I know I will survive.
And come out of all of this alive
To welcome Earth’s men one of these days.
I’m the genetic conduit for man
To merge the past into the future.
My presence here was by chance, for sure
But I’m programmed to follow a plan.
First, I must find a receptive host
One who will nurture me and my traits
Who’ll accept us as suitable mates
And protect my legacy the most.
Once settled, I will self-replicate
So life on Mars will be receptive
To those on Earth who desire to live
In a new world with an unknown fate.
“And who do I see over there…?”
(Story inspired by Faye Flam’s article, “Rover’s risky dive into mysteries of Mars”, The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 5, 2012.)