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 Spirit Chimes

Legacy of Ash

Dear children of tomorrow,
beneficiaries of our place in the order of things:

It's true what they said, we didn't listen to the Earth,
though it could speak and sing, bleed and cry
just like you.

Even now cicadas are outrattling, outliving my
stream of thought. They sizzle like some kisses
I remember, and make the feral, hot-tar summer of 1978
dance again.

Yes, we swam in rivers that would never be that naive
again and surrendered in the soft combat of wild forests,
the kind you dream about in your vagabond sleep,

and you hate us for the the conspicuous gold fields and
foaming hillsides our eyes reaped without effort and wonder
why we were so sad when we had bees and air
not yet sick with chemical diseases and oceans like a
psychedelic broth, an immortal simmer of everything that
lived or will live, not your banquet of plastic
the last fish swallow and curse.

And at night we could watch, though we rarely did, the
vain Cassiopeia imprisoned in jewels and other actors in
a tin-lantern theater until too many fake stars bleached them
into a grainy sky.

Some kill the ones they love by inches
because they hate their lives and don't
feel enough.

We killed because we didn't
feel enough.

Beloved children, take our gift to you:
Inherit our poison, our ashes, the scraps from our
long, mad feast.

Piece together the shards of our empire
where we loved our manufactured joy more than
what was free.

Ponder the psychotic joke we told at your expense
and dream of another planet,
still a proverb without words,
still volumes of poems,
each one a lifeó

a world equally endless and small,
both mother and daughter,
sane and unsold,
safe in your arms.

Patricia Joan Jones

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