We’ve traveled far, my crew and me, their captain. We’ve journeyed past thousands of stars and worlds. Our small ship has sailed through space. None of our kind has ever been this far away from home. Our voyage has taken decades. We’ve slept much of the time. Our automatic system has awakened us occasionally to perform some needed task. Or maybe it was simply to give us a break from sleeping, from dreaming of the unknown and those we’ve left behind.
Now we’re all fully awake. It’s time. We’ve landed on this green world, the third planet in a system that revolves around a bright yellow star of average size. We’ve sensed signs of life. We pause now at the doorway. Large creatures swim before us in the murky water. An uncharted world with uncharted waters. I’m going to stand for a moment, my tail held
*Previously published on Merril’s personal blog in July 2016.
Merril D. Smith is a historian who has written and edited several books on gender and sexuality. Her poetry and creative nonfiction