After the Climate Changes

A hundred thousand years—what will they find?
After lapping hungry at our feet
the creeping seas rise, and then retreat.
Will humankind be fossil over time?

What traces from the life of our tribe–
like ancient middens buried in sandstone
with hidden bits of pottery and bone–
what part of modern man survives the tides?

Perhaps the plastic shovel washed away
from a child’s castle on the shore,
the unicorn tiara that she wore,
the pink jelly shoe she lost that day.

Or from a boy’s kite, the nylon string—
the dragon kite that tangled, you remember?
Will they leave a trace, my family members?
Please, the great-grandchildren. Anything?

Those relics by themselves won’t tell the story
of how we feared the changes—powerless
when politics devoured our progress,
or why we failed to save the planet’s glory,

left ruins for our grandchildren, and theirs,
and finally betrayed our planet’s heirs.


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