Thursday, 23 September 2010

A Letter to the First Graders of 2100 by Kasandra Larsen

In Yosemite National Park, we are saying goodbye to the oldest and largest trees;
they must be gone by now. This was a protected place, meaning the vanishing
of branches happened slower. Once upon a time, America was beautiful, blanketed

in green, ripe for harvest because everywhere is virgin territory if you draw the map
yourself. That's what our ancestors thought as they chopped, burnt, built their houses,
made this paper. That was the beginning. Worse came later. At first we were

industrious, not fat. We invented improvements to horses and feet, upgraded to sleek
and shiny cars that idled for hours every year on flat black landscapes, highways
with tiny pines shoved off to the side. Innocents who inherited the earth, still young,

still meek, have you been to the graveyards, hangars full of big tin cans with wings
that flew us almost everywhere we wanted? We never did find new planets with plenty
of trees. Light bulbs were fired by electricity from plants burning coal. Even our

impressive architecture emitted carbon dioxide. Every city had a bunch of Burger
Kings, McDonald's; we raised thousands of heads of cattle for their supply, grew
abundances of rice, blew methane kisses to what we thought was an endless sky.

Kasandra Larsen, New Orleans, USA


Crafty Green Poet said...

Kasandra Larson's first chapbook, STELLAR TELEGRAM, won the Sheltering Pines Press 2009 competition and is forthcoming this year. She was a finalist in the 2010 Tiferet Sacred Poetry Contest; her poems have appeared in numerous journals in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., including: 100 Poets Against the War, Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Blue Earth Review, Breakwater Review, Denver Syntax, Essence Poetry, Freshwater, Full of Crow, The Nervous Breakdown, The November 3rd Club, nthposition, Osprey Journal, Poems-for-All, Poetic Diversity, Pure Francis, The Roanoke Review, Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry, tinfoildresses, and Two Hawks Quarterly.

Dr. Cheryl Carvajal said...

Wow. Heady stuff. Very sad.

Querulous Squirrel said...

Chillingly understated.

Anonymous said...

A bit didactic...

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i like the work. very much!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful summary of the world then and now. Beautiful read.

english spoken classes in pune said...

Nice post. Thanks for posting.

Andrea McBride said...

"blew methane kisses to what we thought was an endless sky" That's powerful.