It’s Not Me

Doctor’s office again.

Sitting with right leg resting on left knee,
I hold a book of poetry in my hands,
though my eyes are mostly closed.

I am not tired, just idly pondering
what’s for lunch when I return home.

In the corner of the waiting room, a television screen
features a travelogue about Glacier National Park.

A disembodied male voice is calmly narrating
how the glaciers there are rapidly vanishing.

As if he is taking us into his confidence,
he softly announces, “They’re almost gone.”

When we entered the medical building,
we paused and watched several huge air tankers
criss-crossing a perfectly crisp blue autumn sky
with row after row of fat white trails, creating
an eerie panoramic checkerboard effect.

People came and went but none looked up,
nor do many notice that all around town
the tall fir trees are dying en masse.

Somehow everybody knows, but still pretends
that everything is OK, because they have to.

In the waiting room, half a dozen patients
are busily tapping their devices, scrolling through
their messages, sometimes smiling, sometimes huffing,
sometimes absently raising their gaze to observe
the last of the glaciers fading on the TV screen.

People refuse to look around at each other,
maybe they’re ashamed of what we’ve all done.

An older woman watches a younger one take a seat
and begin devouring a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

When she can no longer hold herself back,
she clears her throat and loudly informs the eager diner,
“When I was pregnant, I ate everything in sight!”

Now a mother uses her device to snap some photos
of her young child, then turns the miniature screen
to the boy’s face and says “Look, this is you!”

The boy responds defiantly, “No, it’s not me!”

When we finally leave the building, the late-morning sky
is patched and clouded over with an artificial haze,
but the tankers keep stitching their toxic spray
back and forth over our little mountain town —
it seems they must be desperate.

From the parking lot, a man approaches and,
noticing us looking at the devastated sky,
chuckles and sighs as he passes by:
“Sure, they’re just contrails!”



About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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2 Responses to It’s Not Me

  1. Sky McCain says:

    The contrails make me weep with sadness when they spoil the beauty of the sky, she sky which I identified with by changing my name. See my Facebook post re: methane! How much more can we take without more completely losing it?

    • Bob OHearn says:

      It seems that humans won’t stop until they have pushed themselves to the brink of extinction, and even then, there will be those who want to squeeze out a last few pennies of profit, or rain down destruction on their enemies. Yes, it is so very sad, Sky.

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