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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What Remains

If a king
the armor fills a corner
of a museum or library
the same for all the words
handwritten typed or printed
if the paper is good it may last
if on vellum perhaps a bit more
Human and animal skeletons
occupy boxes and drawers
in the backrooms for researchers
The past is dug from deserts
the tops of mountains
or all spaces in between

Mother's ashes are
in a plastic five gallon bucket
with 5 copies of a CD
filled with photos of family
and memories of her life
Her pink outfit with the pink mink
the ashes of her favorite dog

The soil will gradually wear away
revealing the plastic
for the sun to bleach
or for a future anthropologist
to study or store in a drawer

The armor I wear will go to a business
that deals with cast-off cotton
that turns fiber into money
or better paper to print this poem
that wasn't printed anywhere
and left for the ages
as ones and zeros
Slow decay and electrical wars
will turn these thoughts
to a lightning of mush

My skull will be in a drawer
or ashes moving with storms
down the rivers
down to the ocean
down to the sea with boats
where my father gradually sifts
through the seabeds
where a colorful wrasse
will nod as it swims by
It seems to say
that I'm not looking too good
these days
as its scales flash
the last line here
in remembrance of me

the fish will be electric
They teach their schools
to imagine
our useless attempts
to save our world
in crumbling buildings
ground to dust
our ridiculous self-importance
sliding beneath new continents

Barry G. Wick

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