Size / / /

On their world, too, it grew: blue lotus

Thrust up from the fertile mud

Of memory & myth, from pools

That caught the morning.

                                        When we came,

They welcomed us, but understood

We were not gods, although star-fallen,

Tall & strange.

                         Our heads were ours,

Not ibises or cats or cattle,

Not jackals or that crop-eared horror

Who haunted deserts.

                                   The breath of chaos

Howled there like a solar wind

Too strong to ride, too wild to trust:

They clung instead to order.


Built their lives of stone & gold

Imperishable, pyramidal,


          We understood

Perhaps a hundredth of their reasons,

But dreamed the rest one lotus night

Tinged blue with déjà vu.

                                         Next morning,

Tall & strange & fallen from

Our airless desert seared by stars,

We launched— & felt the balance tremble.

Ann K. Schwader lives, writes, and volunteers at her local branch library in Westminster, CO. Her most recent poetry collection is Twisted in Dream (Hippocampus Press 2011). Her dark SF poetry collection Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam's Dot Publishing, 2010) was a Bram Stoker Award nominee. She is a member of SFWA, HWA, and SFPA. Her LiveJournal is Yaddith Times.
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