by Stan Moor
My family’s lived and worked this land for generations, far back as the family tree’s got roots. The soil ain’t much and that means our home’s nothin’ fancy, but home’s home and we like it here just fine.
There’s abandoned tracks at the edge of the property where the train never comes ‘round anymore. I remember seein’ it as a boy but not for a long time now. It was quiet, save the whistle, just glidin’ by the old farm at breakneck speed.
Not many folks still work Mars soil these days. Lotta folks picked up and left. Some saved for years to ditch this rock and get anywhere else. Word is Saturn’s moons are gettin’ pretty crowded. And we used to laugh and call those parts the boondocks. Who’d’ve thunk.
Feels awful lonely ‘round here sometimes, though, now everyone’s gone. Sometimes it feels like the whole planet’s just ours. Like how I felt as a kid when a dust storm’d cake the farm’s dome in rusty powder and I’d imagine that’s all there was ‘round the fields, just dust, and us in the center. But then the train used to hover on by and blow off some of the dust and remind me there was other people out there beyond our farm, some of ‘em right there, sailin’ by on the train.
Now I look down at the tracks and all I see is splintered wood and bent spikes. There’s no comfort there, so I look the opposite way, up at the planets and the moons. Everybody ‘round here dreamed of Earth and settled for Titan. Me, I dream that everybody’d come back. Mars just ain’t the same without ‘em.