Mighty past

Shelf stone saviors with ramrod torsos—           square-jaw beards tower sure-footed steeds
Breathtaking immobile virility
Their petrified dynamism
Our yearned past

A statue bearing sword                                       extend bicep flexation
Hunt!
Killed burden
Shaman shushed
Slaughtered forests                                              500,000 hectares plowed

Why
In all impulsive acts
Yes—                                                                  we relive their confidence for our tomorrows
Subduing our plazas they subdue history
Even as in their shadow                                     youths nighttime selling out for a greenback and a needle

Beatifying pedestal preservation the pumice undying
Vision always forward
Eyes died long ago
But hoof still raised—                                                  advance!

So to hope, against defeat
          Against our unstaunched stagnation
          A reaping

Take up the drumbeat again
Inheritance compelled

This poem will be published in the anthology The Experiment Will Not Be Bound.

Andy Oram
February 1, 2020