Once I spit a cherry pit,
And so forcefully it flew,
It made a swizzle, sizzle sound,
Then through my bowl it blew.
Through the table,
Through my foot,
Through the floor and more.
Everything the cherry pit hit had a little hole.
It passed right down beyond Earth's core,
Broke through the ocean floor.
That speeding pit then raced through space,
Among the shining stars.
The sailing seed's last resting place
Was the rusty dirt of Mars.
There the cherry seed took root
Where aliens enjoy its fruit.
If you doubt my story,
Fly there and see
The only Martian cherry tree.
This poem was not originally intended to be about Mars or outerspace. I love how some poems start out with an everyday activity like eating cherries and as I write, things start to go in an unexpected direction. I thought it would be fun to imagine I could spit cherry pits like a bullet and shoot them through walls. Next thing I know, the cherry pit goes through the Earth. I researched antipodes – opposing locations on the globe if you could travel straight through Earth – and found that my cherry pit would end up in open ocean. Boring. So then I sent my magical cherry pit into space, my favorite place to read about.
Of course a tree can’t grow on Mars. Ther’s no water or nutrients in the soil, but wouldn’t it be a great story if the first humans to visit Mars were to find a single, mysterious tree in the middle of those vast red dunes. It sounds ridiculous, but maybe you’ll be the first astronaut to set foot there. Maybe you’ll find something equally amazing as a lonely cherry tree – something we thought was impossible. A Mars rover can’t find all the things that a human will. Go there and see for yourself.