When our great-grandchildren
learn to live on Mars
will they come for a visit
across the sea of stars?

Their trip won’t be “over the river,”
“through the woods” they will not know,
but still it will be wonderful to watch them
when we describe fields of moonlit snow.

For them, a holiday spent on Earth
will be quite unusual, it’s true.
They’ll certainly ask us to explain
how birds flew in our skies of blue.

Tales of people riding horses
will seem peculiar and strange.
They may not even believe
how our seasons used to change.

We will try to answer their questions,
rumors we’ll work to dispel,
but how will we ever explain
how hyacinths used to smell?

Billie Holladay Skelley, a retired clinical nurse specialist, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has written several health-related articles for both professional and lay journals, but her writing crosses several different genres and has appeared in various journals, magazines, and anthologies in print and online—ranging from the American Journal of Nursing  to Chicken Soup for the SoulAn award-winning author, she has written ten books for children and teens. Her book, Ruth Law: The Queen of the Air, was recently selected to receive the 2021 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Children’s Literature Award.

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