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WITS Anthology: “The Winds of Mars” by Cordelia Trueax

The piece featured below was written by a student in WITS writer Meg Griffitts’ residency at Franklin High School in the spring of 2021 and was published in the 2020-21 Literary Arts Writers in the Schools anthology, Curiosity in Ones and Zeros. The title of the anthology comes from Cordelia’s poem, below.

The Winds of Mars

by Cordelia Trueax

Far off stars burn bright
Helium Hydrogen Carbon
Fusion occurs as atoms collide
The atmosphere is so thin that
I can count them by the thousands of millions
10010 1110 1100

19 light minutes from [home]
341,763,393 kilometers
All alone
38 minutes till a message makes it to control
And till response is returned
We landed 19 Minutes and 56 Seconds before
anyone knew

5 hours
26 minutes
17 seconds
34 milliseconds
Until the new Sol begins
Breezes batter my outer shell
Plutonium fire rages within me
A fervorous heart warding off the dark chill
And keeping my systems online

Within these rocky ridges around me lie secrets
Which I may one day reveal
Tis the glory of a scientific mind
A burning desire to search discover learn more
A Curiosity
Written in ones and zeroes

They named us for
A reflection of that which they admire in themselves
But if I were like them, all this dust would make me sneeze

They etched their names into a silicon chip
10,932,295 labels
Each identifying a singular being
Hopes and dreams and well wishes sent by millions
Soldered to my back

Legendary they call it
Call a smooth touchdown
Call atom splitting
Oxygen creating
Call a martian takeoff
Call this life of mine
The everyday
For which they have created me
A metallic test tube baby
Of ones and zeroes
Born solely to roll on by
In the winds of Mars

Purchase the WITS Anthology here.

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