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Monday, May 12, 2008


by Becky Harblin

People First,
that’s the sign. Simple,
black with plain white letters.
It hangs on a construction trailer.
No bee, or bird, or bat in sight.

People First.
What People, all people?
People first above all else?
Pat my head and feed
some people’s pockets
today, and never mind tomorrow’s
earth. Our mother’s sons and daughters
can live elsewhere
on genetically
engineered corn or cake.

People first.
We the people?
Who do we think we are?
We are the first people
with all the claims on all the soil, all the air,
all the animals, and all the waters,
posting our simple sign,
with our motto my ‘people first’
above all else.
We are the mind, separate
and severed from our earth body.

After all, what comes first,
the money,
or the chickens with no eggs?

Becky Harblin is a sculptor who works in concrete on on her farm in upstate New York. Becky starts each day by writing haiku. Her poems have been published on New Verse News - 2007/04, 07, and 09. And in North Country Journal. Her other poems may be read on her Web site.