photo: ralph murre
by Constance Vogel Adamkiewicz
When I was a child, a greenhouse seemed exotic--
poinsettias peering out at snow.
Easter lilies white as wedding gowns.
glass mysterious with the breath of plants.
Now, we all live in one,
the sun a giant gro-light,
the air a maze of halogen.
No pounding on the glass will set us free.
Someday from the lemur-eyes of gas masks,
we will see faint outlines of our ghosts --
lisping breath of proboscis-hoses.
Stunted corn will be plowed under
for wheat fields that do not germinate.
Shriveled leaves will blanket the ground
white as drifts of snow
that once held the prints of angels.
Sleds will hang on museum walls,
children's ice skates rest behind glass.
If science concocts a giant mirror, pale antidote
to deflect sun, will it crack like a glacier?
Children, ask grandpa, when you gather at his knee,
to tell you about when there were birds
who rode on air you couldn't see.
~ previously published in Earth First!