Momentum, Which Once Put in Motion, Cannot Rest


         Not the snake song,
Shimmering through the dusty dried-out night
That lies upon the land
As if it were a curse or savage blight.

Not the song sung by the elders,
Full of precedence and memories,
Memories to which they cling tenaciously—

Just as they clutch their walking sticks,
Cracked and gnarled, alike in knobby roughness
To their weathered hands.

Not the cheetah song, swift and sure,
Lunging in all innocence at its fleeing prey;
A song that grips the neck and smothers breath,
Ferocious and yet mannerly.

The song I hear today is one of masses moving,
Hooves pounding out the ingrained rhythm
On taut savannah skin.

Humankind is such a herd
In its collective gathering and swift migration
Towards an end we have not chosen.


©2016 Michael Fraley




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