EPITAPH

   

We heard him. He’d said,

The river has fled  

out the hill to the high desert valley.

 

And, yes, it ran, laughing

while cows went on calving

and hawks tied neat ribbons of sky.

 

We watched how it knew

how to grow. Yes, it grew

new springs hitching their way

 

along in its currents.

Then, with some brief torrents,

the river spilled into the bay.

 

With strong churning motion,

the bay mixed with ocean –

debris frothing the sky.

 

(Now, if butterfly wings

topple kingdoms and kings

by mere beating, how so you and I?)

 

Through winter, spring, summer

then fall, with its drummer

of steady days beaten in time,

 

we showed how adroit

was our craft to exploit

all the land – well, it wasn’t a crime.

 

While seasons kept passing,

we all kept amassing.

Business was up – that’s for sure.

 

Occasional sighs

turned to groans in the skies,

the green land and the sea’s abstruse floor.

 

Still, most of us folks

kept things light with our jokes

like, “Those ‘green’ folks clearly are cracked!”  

 

And, “We have rights, too.”

So, we scoffed and said, “Pooh!”

to those nuts who said earth’s getting wrecked.

 

We heard him. He huffed,

The river’s been snuffed!  

And, true, not enough of us cared.

 

But our reasons were sound

so we all stood our ground

and refused to get wobbly and scared.

 

Then little by little,

the green land turned brittle,

the waters turned rotten and cruel.

 

Complainers kept judging

but we’d do no budging

no matter how loud they’d all growl.

 

We heard the old man

when he said, We must plan

for our future before it’s too late!

 

But, we kept to our tasks

and (if anyone asks)

we all died. It must have been fate.

 

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© Copyright 2007 Susan M. Botich