I do not know how we will
pull ourselves back from
an ignorant plunge into the abyss.
Our poisoned politics
push forward the poisoning of the planet.
We get only one earth with no do-overs.
Every human being who ever lived,
every member of our species,
was born on this planet and remains here.
There is no other place for us.
This is our only home,
spinning through space.
The soil, water and air we depend on for life
are contained in a fragile, transparent envelope.
The atmosphere is our spacesuit.
The girl works at a frozen custard stand.
She is pretty in an awkward, teenaged way.
She looks just like her mom. Good folks.
They have high hopes for her.
I have hopes for her too.
The boy is skinny, bushy haired.
He's just nineteen and works in a warehouse,
scrapping unsold, obsolete auto parts.
I only know him a little
But I have hopes for him as well.
They are soft, green, shoots,
pushing up in the black mud
on the banks of a living lake.
Sprouting with the tadpoles
She is twenty-eight, an Army brat.
She had some trouble and a baby at fifteen.
She has an impish grin
and an attitude to go with it.
I have high hopes for her little family.
He is eighty-two
He has a wife who loves him dearly,
a bunch of great-grandchildren,
and liver cancer.
He has hopes for his kids, their kids, and their kid's kids.
I'm past fifty.
What isn't bald is going gray.
My feet were born flat and have gotten flatter.
My back aches and my fingers are stiff.
Missus and the little white dog
have middling hopes for me.
He is fifty-two, got a lovely wife and two kids
Law degree, good job,
and a the weight of the world on his shoulders.
I still have some hopes for him.
We must do what we must do,
what we can,
when we can,
stand firm, pick our battles
and never take counsel of our fears.