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Friday, May 15, 2009


by Scot Siegel

If you are reading this from earth
the storm was busy while we worked

They let the dikes go you know
there was no one guarding the gates

The weather was self-effacing
but stubborn; the globe went into a funk

Some were lucky and found arable land
in the unlikeliest places

The last of the freshwater lakes
made excellent farms

We learned to digest salt grass
& lived on reverse osmosis

Everything below forty degrees
was our battery

Solar worked well for a while;
then the wind grew to hurricane pitch

Dust blew over us like a cape
and hovered for centuries –

We had to go off-grid; learned to live
with no economy

The whole race went underground
while the earth yearned to recover
The process was slow; entire tribes
disappeared while we waited

The consumers were the first to go
(we gave them proper burials)

Some said g-d,
after her three thousand year sabbatical

had returned in a flourish
to save us

But we knew better; prayer was a luxury
like books

in the beginning our skeletons
did all the work

Scot Siegel is a poet and land use planner from Oregon, where he serves on the board of trustees for the Friends of William Stafford. He is the author of Some Weather (Plain View Press, 2008), and Untitled Country, a chapbook due out from Pudding House Publications in 2009.