If Aliens Arrive Tonight

R. Nikolas Macioci

If Aliens Arrive Tonight

Out where dandelions grow in the field
and wildflowers break under cattle hooves,
just this side of an ominous woods,
the ship presses landing legs into soft soil.
A radiant, blue aura surrounds its frame.
The ship is fifty yards from the farmhouse.
Mrs. Stanley stands at the window, begins
to pray. Mr. Stanley grabs his shotgun, strides
to the porch, sees a little boy emerge.
The boy glitters. The only other illumination
is the glow from the ship. The farmer trudges closer.
The little boy takes a few steps forward.
Mrs. Stanley yells to come back and call
the sheriff. Twenty feet away, Mr. Stanley
stops, shocked to see that the little boy is
actually a small man who does not say anything
but clangs what looks like a tambourine
against his hip. Mr. Stanley points the gun.
The little man bangs the tambourine faster
and faster. Mr. Stanley fires. His wife screams.
The small man and the ship dissolve.
The ship leaves burn marks on the ground
shaped like a rood-tree.

That night, as the Stanleys climb into bed,
Mr. Stanley barks expletives and how
he would rot in hell before he’d see
a foreigner trespass on his land.


R. Nikolas Macioci earned a PhD from The Ohio State University, and for thirty years taught for the Columbus City Schools. In addition to English, he taught Drama and developed a Writers Seminar for select students. OCTELA, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English, named Nik Macioci the best secondary English teacher in the state of Ohio.

Nik is the author of two chapbooks: Cafes of Childhood and Greatest Hits, as well as five books: Why Dance, Necessary Windows, Cafes of Childhood (the original chapbook with additional poems), Mother Goosed, and Occasional Heaven. Critics and judges called Cafes of Childhood a “beautifully harrowing account of child abuse,” but not “sentimental” or “self-pitying,” an “amazing book,” and “a single unified whole.” Cafes of Childhood was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. In addition, more than two hundred of his poems have been published here and abroad in magazines and journals, including The SOCIETY OF CLASSICAL POETS Journal, Chiron, Clark Street Review, and Blue Unicorn.

Editor’s Notes: Terza rima is an Italian form poem consisting of interlocking rhyming tercets. The image is a collage of a red telephone (StickPng), the trifoil radiation symbol (Iconfinder), and a mushroom cloud (Nuclear Blast Wallpapers Group).

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