Remaining

When it came,
the storm was an afterthought.
We were long gone.
The ‘scrapers claimed by climbers
and moss and other green,
and rust as well, because
when them winds howled
the groaning, empty boardrooms
gave way to long-awaited ruin.
It is the state of things.
The old is ruins now
and vagabonds still pick whatever’s
left of yesterday’s metropolis.
They sell that junk at market:
a pound of cabling for produce, and pity
for the bygone things we clung to
not so long ago, and yet,

a lifetime ago.
There is a sunrise after the rain,
glinting off the new canals
where ghost cars run, even now.
Life is busy elsewhere,
rebuilding, preserving, enduring.
Hardship has become necessity,
then invention, then purpose–
few think about it otherwise.
We who remain
re-learned life-ways our ancestors left behind
and made life and love and
whatever ruin of civilization
we have salvaged, hopefully fairer.

There are rumors of the gangs:
the wild boys who, long ago,
deserted country but kept the arms,
and raided depots
for antique shining metal.
Some slave way
at what machinery survived
and can still be fueled. Less so
every day now; soon gone.
The rumors stay away
then frighteningly come close again,
far more real than the storm-wrecked city–
that tomb, remembering–
where no doubt they’ll dwell
and dream of glory days.

Those dreams died long ago.
But we relearned the Mother’s truth,
Her Promise of Eternal Returns.
Not as facsimiles, carbon copies of a lie,
but in new forms, new lives,
new dreams of what may come.
Now, here the breeze is full of rust;
then, it changes sweet and slow.
Flowers always bloom now
and seeds planted grow year-round;
the Earth is warmer
and the Great Wheel turns.

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