Black Kettle

“Nothing lives long…only the earth and the mountains.” Black Kettle

If only that were true, Black Kettle

If only 

If only it weren’t permitted 

promoted and  profited from

the annihilation of boulders 

covered  by creation 

with lichens and green moss 

of every color and depth, 

flora and fauna, 

and all manner of critters 

seen and unseen —

If only it weren’t permitted 

promoted and profited from 

the desecration of mountain laurel 

that once proliferated here

and bloomed in lush pink and purple profusion 

every year 

but will again no more…forever 

and with them the giant leaf makers:

the wild cherries and oaks and maples 

who spanned the sky 

and send by wind tiny silent  prayers- 

their abundant seeds 

to flourish if they themselves 

should perish 

but shall make such hopes for the future, no more…forever

If only 

the topsoil it took 

human eternities to make 

wasn’t squandered in barren rock

and shale 

that holds no moisture

nutrients or hope whatsoever, 

but bequeaths mud and heavy metals 

come hard rains

If only people cared Black Kettle 

if only words once true held strong 

and firm as mountains 

once did

                                                        If only