When the first Martian knocks, I open the door
with a bowl of chocolate, suckers, and quarters.
This Martian is a typical Martian: green skin,
long thin limbs, and maybe three feet tall.
The Martian’s eyes glitter. I ask, Who are you?
The Martian is silent. Then a Fairy, Superman,
and two Military Specialists crowd the porch
holding plastic gourds. I extend the bowl of candy.
Thank you! says the Fairy whose wings shiver.
She dashes down the steps into the night.
Then Superman, the military, they all leave,
but the Martian remains. I ask, Where’s your mom?
I scan the street and note my neighbors
on their lawn pretending to be stuffed dummies.
As the Fairy climbs their driveway, they growl.
I study the Martian, then glance up and down the street.
I do what any normal person would do.
I take a limp hand and pull the Martian inside.
“First Contact” appeared in the 2011 edition of the Labletter.