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* A Zambezi River canyon in Africa *
Back again ...
Her daily hour of hope ...
She came every evening to The Hem ...
Just a big hole in the earth, really, a barren canyon of dust,
Perched on the south edge of the Congo, near the Zambezi River source.
About seven miles from her abode, through mostly jungle -
A beautiful spot with waterfalls on the far reach ... not much wildlife, still ...
It afforded a direct up-link to the satellite, and in turn, the VLA,
Through which she could transmit and listen for signs of life and success.
A vain and hopeless pursuit in many eyes, however ...
She was a Down-Easter, with a rare, hearty, undying constitution,
And she had studied science long enough and deeply enough
To know that ANYthing was possible ... even the impossible.
Her husband's mission to Europa had been missing over a year now,
Dissociation of transmissions one day before they were due to go orbital,
Since then, not a sound ... not even a ping from the ship's many transponders,
(And those required no manual activation of any kind).
But all her dreams included Joaquin, and she would NOT give up.
They'd met as undergrads at Clark, and connected instantly -
Minds, aspirations, beliefs, even a sensual chemistry that defied logic,
Bonds that many people don't experience ... and they never looked back.
NOW the distance between them seemed light years,
And yet ... when she was here, gazing up at that expanse,
When she could see the shimmer of Jupiter's bright,
When there was literally nothing between them but space ...
She felt his being ... alive ... she knew, somehow, he'd survived.
She turned the laptop on and plugged in the cords,
Pressing the "Send" button to start her repeating transmission.
As she sat on the edge of the canyon in the lowering light of the Congo,
A lioness appeared on the opposite rim, alone ...
After a minute-or-so the lion put her head back and roared to the heavens,
The wondrous echo bouncing around the cliffs and back to her,
Almost as if the lion, too, was calling across the distance for her love.
"Oh, I hope he hears you, Darling!" she said out loud, heart aching.
The lioness looked at her briefly, then slowly disappeared back into the jungle.
She put the headphones on and started listening,
As a very faint but distinct male voice began to talk ...
From the other end ...
Written and submitted on July 15, 2019
For the "Another Eight Word Challenge" Poetry Contest
Kai Michael Neumann, Sponsor.
( Mandatory words to be used - constitution, hope, echo, dissociation, abode, dreams, lioness, and sensual )
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2019