To My Wife on Earth

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in New World Writing, California Quarterly and Lost Pilots. Latest books “Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Isotrope Literary Journal, Seventh Quarry, La Presa and Doubly Mad.

The Altairians are restless.
They attacked the lab last night.
We lost two guards in the skirmish.

And the rock we dug out of
the side of the hill
proved to be so radioactive
that two geologists exposed to it
went up in flames like touch-paper.

Only three of the men
returned from the mission to the dark side.
Some kind of green-scaled three-headed creature,
about twenty fields tall,
attacked the team,
tore many of them to shreds.

We lost Dr Ehlerimen to a bog,
and Professor Casey to a sudden landslide.
And our chef, when out scouring
the local plant life for prospective garnishes,
was sucked up and swallowed
by what is known in the lab 
as a crocodile flower.

Yes, I got your letter.
Crime’s on the rise.
There are violent protests in the street.
Countries in the Middle East
are talking war.
I agree, Earth is a dangerous place.
But just you try living elsewhere.