Clowns on Jupiter

Arriving at Jupiter’s orbiting spaceport,
we struggle to overcome our grogginess
to regain some of the enthusiasm
we felt when we blasted off
from Earth for this journey.
Then that enthusiasm had to retreat,
as medicated drowsiness took over
for our long sleep through space.

Now that we’re here,
I catch sight of one of Jupiter’s
79 moons, and I try to
remember all their names—
Ganymede, Europa, Callisto, Io,
Sponde, Kale, Pandia, Carpo—
but I fall far short.

The spaceport’s odd welcoming committee
are clowns goofing around to make us smile,
to help us wake from our long sleep
and introduce us to this wondrous planet.

But something sinister’s in their looks,
as if they want to know our intentions
because they don’t trust us.

Clowns on Jupiter
staring at me.
Eyes like daggers.
Eyes like daggers.
Eyes like daggers.

Exhaled relief arrives as
we settle into our taxi
and ride to the hotel area,
checking ourselves
for puncture wounds.

Thankfully finding none,
we turn our attention
to other matters:
unpacking our bags and
getting ready for the tourist ship
that will take us to the Great Red Spot,
a storm that’s been raging on the planet
for at least 400 years.

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. Included in my book, The Dancing Fish.

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