curiosity

almost a decade ago
a robot named
Curiosity hurtled
105 million miles
through the empty cold
darkness of space.
180 days of tumbling
before touching down
through a billowing cloud
of rusty dust
upon the surface of
Mars
so that we could all
finally get
a closer look at
its dry red dirt.
it so happens that
every time she collects
a sample of this fine
celestial powder
maneuvering her
short metal scoop
ever so gingerly across
the surface
she does a little
mechanical shimmy 
which causes a
sonic pitch of varying
frequencies —
each sound vibrating
across the body of her sleek
aluminum frame.
so what?
so then —
exactly a year later
after her very first
loop around our sun
the world’s finest
minds gathered around
a cafeteria table
(here on earth)
to calculate precisely
how to maneuver her
little scoop
into just the right density
of Martian samples,
so that she'd buzz the
happy birthday song.
they even baked her a
spherical cake
(red velvet i hope)
to honor the first
musical notes to
ever slice the silent
atmosphere
of another world.
yes —
this all may seem silly
or perhaps even sad
but to me
it baffles my little
earth-bound brain
to think of how we built
a little six-wheeled robot
called her Curiosity
flung her across the cosmos
just because we could
because her name
is an idea forever braided
into our helices —
and then,
just because we could
we taught her how
to sing.