02 April 2009

Day 2 - Poem A Day Challenge - Outsider

Day 2 of the April Poem A Day Challenge at Poetic Asides.

Today's Prompt: "Today, I want you to write an outsider poem. You can be the outsider; someone else can be the outsider; or it can even be an animal or inanimate object that's the outsider. As usual, get creative with the prompt and don't be afraid to stretch the limits."

If I'm going to be an outsider, I'm going to be WAY outside. I always wondered if they will do personality typing before they nominated someone to go meet the alien hordes, or if it will be a kind of "You're Up!" type of deal.

I wouldn't be a good alien greeter. The powers that be are better off just leaving me down in the engine room...

Left at Alpha Centauri, Proceed With Caution

I peer out from behind
the relative safety of my face
plate at the gathering of alien
life forms arrayed before me.
Recycled air from the home
planet swirls before my two eyes,
not the four or eight mismatched
pairs. One of the creatures gestures
for me to come down the ramp, away
from the ship. Another indicates
it's absolutely safe to remove
my helmet and breathe their air.
I'm not fooled by the general
gregariousness. I've met foreigners
in other places. I trusted before,
on other planets. Not this time.
You don't live to my advancing
age by being less than cautious.
I pretend to misinterpret the signals.
Before the crowd can turn uglier,
I take a few steps down the ramp,
launch into the canned speech
I give all extraterrestrial beings
who attempt to pry me from my
safety zone, hand out multi-colored
food bricks from stored rations.
They ignore my reluctance to join
them, chatter, eat, wave anemone
antennae. Another few minutes
and they will forget the gawky
Earthling in the ill-fitting space
suit, the one that remains tethered
at all times to the mothership.

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