In honor of water on Mars, thought I’d repost this poem. First appeared in Strange Horizons.
Beware the quip that youth is wasted
on the young. Exasperated,
those youths will offer a switch.
Infants through middle-schoolers
will pick up our projects
while scientists and politicians,
retirees and social workers
enjoy long days on slip-n-slides.
In their quest to disprove
their time squandering stigma,
these kids will in one week
discover the unifying theory of physics.
While Mrs. Canady sips apple juice,
her fifth grade class builds rocket ships.
To seek out those Nordic aliens
from Star Trek marathons.
Failing, they’ll remember
not to waste time or resources
on fruitless endeavors,
and turn to go home before supper.
Their artists will paint only what they’ve seen
with as few crayons as possible.
And their five-year-old geologists
will not dilly dally.
They’ll breeze through their surveys,
keep their pockets empty,
and not once tug a pant leg,
critter filled hand upturned, to ask
Can I take this one home?