For Earth Day, A Bit Late

#21:

Identity

O Paleo Man,
would that you could see
how far we’ve come.

Gone are we
from the sprawling plains,
where the wind’s breath bends
the tall grass;

from the mouths
of the high hills
where the sky-voices shout
and shake the air;

from the edge
of big water
whose bounty
was boundless and rich.

Would that you could stand
on our honeycomb roads
and listen in bewilderment
at the endless buzz;

that you could breathe
the burning air,
taste the fire
of our crude tools
and lift your head
to shadowed skies;

that you could see us
bone-men
who have forgotten
the sun’s ripe fruit,
the feel of sand beneath
our fragile toes;

that you could hear us
mammoth-men
stamp our swollen feet
and lift our stones
in huts built high to tame
our bursting skins;

that you could wield
our steady spear
nested in the splitting soil
and feel the slowing pulse
as it sinks deeper,
deeper down.

O Paleo Man,
would that you could see
how far we’ve come.

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