Earth, a poem by Magnolia Vandiver

by Magnolia Vandiver

She is cold and white and slowly dying-

A huddled mass yearning to breathe free,

Strapped tightly to a hospital bed.

Buzzing machines are driven into her,

Pumping out her blood

And monitoring her slow breathing.

The lush meadows of her hair are gone,

Leaving empty hollows and bare mountain tops.

People with gloves

And without faces

Cluster around her.

They will not help her,

They cannot look into her eyes.

And they refuse to call her by her name.

Outside, in the sterile waiting room

People’s voices are rising

“Why can’t we see her?”

“Why can’t we know what’s going on”

“Be quiet,” they are told

“We are doing all we can.”

Inside, the machines keep pumping up and down.

But we can only take and slash

And burn and cut and scar

For so long.

Soon there will be nothing left

And she will disappear

Leaving us standing

on the crumbling illusion

That we can survive without her.