35 | Poetry by David Barber, Pushcart Prize & SFPA Rhysling Award Nominee
What The Saucer People Wanted
They were common as hauntings once:
lights in the sky, blurred snapshots,
fleeting shapes glimpsed by pilots
amongst the clouds.
It might be the engine of a truck
dying one night on an empty road,
Country Radio drowned in static
as something loomed;
or an old couple woken by a presence;
a state trooper cruising desert highways
and recalling nothing after the light,
his watch stopped.
Perhaps our longings conjured them,
weather balloons and Venus never enough,
the telling detail of encounters
making us more real.
Yet despite such fervent history,
it feels as if our time has passed,
the unblinking gaze of phones capturing
them less not more,
a dalliance they now regret,
and are just going through the motions,
wearied by talk of conspiracy, abductions
Journeying so far through the dark,
they must have had such hopes of us.
Ask yourself what they were looking for
that we lacked after all.
Editor’s Note: Recently, David was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by this publishing house for his short story, “Starship Tales,” which appeared in the debut issue of The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review.