Imposter

RARE AIR

A picture makes it worthwhile
To read a thousand words
But it’s hard to reconcile
Phytoplankton
Tiny marine organisms
Cranking out the oxygen
In Earth’s atmosphere
Good things come in small packages
Mom said when I complained about
Height, or the lack of it
Maybe
Maybe if Mars
Or some lone planet
Light-light-light years away
Would have life
As we know it
Tilling the dirt
Salting the seas
Firing away the ice
Scenting the sky
With an invisible aroma
Of after-rain cleanliness
Or pre-lightning electrical fire
Maybe
But for each positive theory
A negative one exists
Science has discovered
Oxygen can now be generated
In the absence of life named
“An alien imposter”
Maybe it’s not a pretender, though
Maybe like me
Suffering from Imposter Syndrome
(Am I really a poet, for instance?)
But it can be
Merely an alien phytoplankton
We all wear masks
Whether aware of them or not
So I say
Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt
So what if they were produced
Abiotically
(Like that word?
Or am I being “pretentious”
As some say?)
Abiotically in multiple simulations
“Simulations”
Phony! Made up!
My laywoman’s thought is
You may produce oxygen
But what side effects will occur
In years to come
Life as we know it may surely be alien
The real false positive for life
Phytoplankton forever
Keep your simulations
Give me the sweet air we sometimes can see
Through your polluted sky
And nurse the phytoplankton
Making sure they do not die…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Phytoplankton, http://www.racingextinction.com