Survival of the Species

I’m up to my half-naked body in rubble.
My husband and children are up there somewhere,
beyond the stratosphere by this.
Wind blows a dozen snakes my way.
Fin just relieved my family got out in time.

Food is scraps and a bed is anywhere
the rising tide of burning foul water hasn’t swamped.
My skin is burned red and gray.
I can’t help looking up.
I pray that they’re too far away for me to see.

Look at this world.
It really was a junk investment after all.
It’s cracked in the middle.
Its beasts roam hungry and mad.
Its foliage engages
in withering rounds
of self-flagellation.

This dump has been abandoned by God.
I hope that there’s a deity where my loved ones are headed.
It broke my heart to part.
But the future needs a parent in its early days.

Thunder claps divide the air.
Lightning snaps the last singing bird in two.
The scattered few around me
babble in red-faced fear.
I prefer the waning song of inevitability.

I dream my husband, my children,
find a safe haven somewhere in the galaxy.
All I can imagine of such a place
is one solitary red rose.
My brain focuses on this
because I stumble across just such a flower,
blooming in a field of dust,
apparently unharmed.
Steadfast and beautiful.
Two words conquer all.

John Grey



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Harpur Palate, the Hawaii Review and Visions International. 

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