The Canals on Mars
From an allusion by Robert Royal1
Martians spent centuries building canals
Across great continents to irrigate
Their fields, and on barges of marvelous design
Voyage across their picturesque red lands
They watch us through wonderful telescopes
And send out ships whose missions seem to be
To crash into Earth’s deserts with little green men –
Alas that none of this was ever true!
There are no canals, only an optic blur:
We will miss those Martians who never were
1Robert Royal: “Are Americans from Mars?” The Catholic Thing, 17 July 2017.
Robert A. Heinlein’s boys’ books were part of my childhood. I am sorry that I will never meet a Martian.