Nothing Will Be Left Behind

Of all the mountains
leaping like gray-blue giants from volcanic fires to high-five the firmament,
dressed in flowing gowns of glaciers grinding granite into flour,
swept away
and kneaded back into the depths,
not a speck shall be left behind.

Of all the creatures, great and small,
the dinosaurs whose thundering dance
disturbed the gods until they
threw their thunder back at them,
the butterflies who see the morning only once,
never dreaming there might be a place
beyond this field of purple flowers,
no claw or wing shall be left behind.

Of all the people, rich and poor,
their poems and songs,
their laughs and tears,
the tyrant swearing to rewrite the world,
the mother whispering to her child,
not a word shall be left behind.

When everything and everyone is gone,
When there are no more footprints in the snow,
and the snow has melted into the sea,
and the sea has boiled into the sky,
and the parched bones of earth
have been cremated in the sun,
still I was here,
and I wrote this,
and that will never be untrue.