This place is unloved, limply clutched
by its distant, senescent sun.
Here we crouched to kindle weather,
invent rain in the breathless dust.
What they wanted were the dull scabs
of ejecta on the scree slopes
of vacant hills, violent once;
some isotope of tedium.
Katya, my youngest, sees the nurse
at school, is noiseless on the stairs,
the porch swing, a cowled bundle of
thin wrists, faint lesions, allergies.
I have warned the Director that
the algae will not tolerate
these nineteen months, this so-called year
of ultraviolet and shade.
I may radio out again,
not make a fuss,
but something here
is having quite unplanned effects.
Messages may be getting lost.