Still Life in Anytown, MA

Lauren Puglisi

A Mars Rover is an automated
motor vehicle that propels
itself across the surface
of the planet
upon arrival.

I have arrived
in a strange land of
cookie-cutter clutter.
Are you there Houston?
Silence sticks like
dried dust.

Rovers have several advantages
over stationary landers:
they examine more territory,
can be directed to interesting features,
can place themselves in sunny positions
to weather winter months.

Four signs of life reported:
One, the shapes that the tall weeds cast
on the sidewalk when a car drives by:
headlights bright and quick,
shadows long and lingering.

Two, the place where the orange glow
of street lamps meets the
homesick blue of the sky,
a shade of lavender
that looks faintly familiar.

Three, the gnome
in my neighbor’s garden,
a fellow traveler,
half in step.

Four, the lonely basketball hoop
lit up like a lighthouse,
welcoming lost ships like me

Earlier this summer,
The rover stopped
communicating with Earth,
a massive dust storm
enveloped the planet.
The storm has mostly cleared,
but NASA hasn’t heard
from the rover since June.
Engineers still listen daily
for any faint

Lauren Puglisi is a senior from New York City studying psychology. She likes writing poetry and hopes that you don't mind reading it. Her work has appeared in previous editions of Laurel Moon, Hanging Loose, and Jaded.