Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Extraterrestrials in a sleek silver vessel
slowly flew over the town of landlocked Ridgedale, Illinois,
and hovered over the subdivision of Bayside Lakes,
which was built around a small retention pond
next to a clubhouse for homeowners’ association meetings.
All of the streets were named after nautical concepts,
like Anchor, Regatta, Hightide, and Surf,
and all of the townhouses were identical,
with beige vinyl siding and uniform mailboxes at the curb.
It was 3:35 on a Tuesday morning,
and all the residents were asleep,
except for April Jenkins,
who had just let out her corgi, Dennis.
And only Dennis, while relieving his bladder,
was aware of these outsiders,
who floated noiselessly above his home,
their motives unknown.
And so Dennis barked
and barked,
full-throated, deep barks,
punctuated by protective growls.
But Dennis barked like that all the time
for no good reason,
and so April, half-asleep, 
opened the door and shouted,
“Dennis! Be quiet! Come inside!”
Dennis reluctantly retreated into his home,
and the ship vanished,
on its way to its home world,
faster than light,
to report its findings about the lush Planet Earth
and its complex civilization of carbon-based canine life.

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