It was spring and the aliens had landed
by Liza Bachman

Landed for real this time
and not just another tale
by Old Man Haggardy
of Martians crushing his mailbox
or souring his cow’s milk.

No, the aliens were here,
and here to stay,
applying for Social Security
and buying double-wides down by the quarry.

Sure, they started off strange looking,
built on radial lines, not bipeds (that’s what they said on CNN),
more than the usual number of limbs and digits,
but familiarity makes the strangest visions common
(like my cousin Cuthbert, on the Culbreath side
with webbed toes and a lazy eye)--
I don’t even notice nowadays.

But as I said, it was spring,
and emotions always run high then,
and I was glad to see that the aliens,
regardless of the color of their gills,
had taken a cotton to religion.
Round here they took Baptist,
over the ridge they were Church of God,
but what was nice was the way
their stories fit ours:
death, mayhem, sacrifice.
The whole us versus them based on
divine finger-pointing.

The aliens took to Good Friday and Easter
like scaly blue ducks to water.
And when they cried out Amen
and Hallelujah from those trapezoidal orifices I believe are their mouths,
we all felt kin to them.

Yes, Mamma was right again.
We’re not all that different on the inside.

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