The End of Memory

by Lynn Pacifico

Apathy reigns as real estate and corporate sports
conspire with dirty hands, secret deals stealing the last land
that was the people’s, stolen from our children, and
from their children and on, raising neither alarm nor anger.
I believed in righteousness, but our loved land, once alive,
has been abused, suffocated under plastic, murdered.
Grandstanding for canopy, we will get no park, only trees
trapped in roof planters, trapped in pits to be viewed
and urinated on, not lain on nor walked on,
no babies crawling, or lover’s strolls hand in hand.
Street lining potted trees withering away like the rest,
unkempt deadness continuing, just more.
Office holders and community seats talking
ecology with empty words, showing false concern
for the people, and none for mother earth, defiling her,
with need for glory and to satisfy their unsatisfiable
greed. Betrayed by those we admired, they
destroy all that is around us, all the life giving beauty dies.
Once fresh air and sunshine now chemical and shadow.
Thirty years I tried, with longing for the old field
we treasured, and to which we have not been
allowed to return. Memories of joy, from long ago haunt,
the faces I loved, no longer here, memories
I can no longer hold. Old camaraderie, affection,
and laughter fading and I grieve it.
The scented earth, the rain that brought the flowers
and the ice, nature waiving in the breeze, gone.
It is all gone, never to be replaced and if so,
after I am gone. My youth mislaid as the smiles
brought by that land, fade away, to be forgotten.

Lynn Pacifico is a fourth generation villager who loves dogs, nature and New York City.