Perseverance From a distance, the red planet's craters must come into focus like giant "o"s shaken loose from an optician's chart. I pictured you entering Mars' atmosphere head-on, like a drinking straw pushed through a bubble, but you carve through it softly like a knife along the rind of a tangerine. That bricklayer's horizon gives us some hope as you emerge from an unfathomable darkness poised in stillness, silent and serene. Promise us you won't be scared, secluded ruler of your new kingdom. We too have landed alone in an unfamiliar world, and know what it means to persevere.
George Neame is a publisher of medical journals based in London, but in recent years he has lived in Yorkshire, Dublin and Tennessee. His poetry has previously appeared in Acumen, Antiphon, the Moth, and Ink and Sweat & Tears. In his spare time, he enjoys long walks, board games and exceptionally strong coffee.