Boudreaux Responds to NASA June 2079 (Earth)

Arden Eli Hill

Boudreaux Responds to NASA June 2079 (Earth)

The sweet water of Europa.
The golden sphere of Io.

Send someone other than my descendants.

We are still dirt-bound, wrestling
with the bones
of our dishonorable ancestors.
To be white, in this century,
and from the south
of this northern continent
is to know what launched you
into the present, a lineage
of holding people captive
or benefiting from the backs
broken beneath your kin.
I have come to understand
something of the history
that made me, that gives me
pause about the future.

The thin oxygen on Ganymede
The cratered plains that cross Callisto.

Send someone other than my descendants.

Despite being from Lafayette, Louisiana, Arden Eli Hill has never wrestled an alligator, only a kangaroo. Arden holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a specialization in Women and Gender Studies and an MFA from Hollins University. Arden has published in places such as Willow Springs, Western Humanities Review, Kaleidoscope, Wordgathering, Breath and Shadow, the Lambda Literary award-winning anthology First Person Queer, its sequel, Second Person Queer, Hip Mama, The Wellesley Review, Strange Horizons, McSweeny’s Internet Tendency, the anthology Trans Bodies Trans Selves, and forthcoming from Tupelo Quarterly. Arden’s poem “None of the Star Trek Ships are Named After confederate Generals” was a finalist for this year’s Ignyte award in the speculative poetry category. In case you are still thinking about the kangaroo, Arden won. Learn more about Arden at
Backstory: This poem comes from my flesh and my imagination. One of my ancestors arrived from Germany as an indentured servant only to turn around and become an enslaver. Another was a confederate soldier. These ancestors are not sources of pride for me; I acknowledge them, but I do not venerate them. Recently, my poetry has started to address the future alongside its examination of past and present. In this poem, I draw from my Cajun connection to the Southern Louisiana cultural figure of Boudreaux, who, in this poem, has evolved from the personification of an ignorant provincial buffoon to a person who thinks critically about race and region.
Editor’s Notes: Boudreaux is a proper noun USA surname that comes from the French word for farmer. A family surname that means leader of the group. This is a common last name for Cajun people. [Wiktionary]
Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, also known as Boudreau and Thibodeau, are jokes which make fun of slow-witted Cajuns. These jokes are a common tradition to the Southern Louisiana region and often feature a Cajun tone of speech. [Wikipedia]
Image Credit: Galilean moons and Jupiter:

See also the artwork MOONS OF JUPITER [Acrylic on Canvas by Irena Grant-Koch, Australia]

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