Modern Man

We were always barefoot as kids, always covered in band-aids
and bruises and about a hundred mosquito bites, but we never
whined and you couldn’t get us inside at the end of the day
because we lived to ride our bikes or swim for hours or play kickball
in the vacant lot at the end of the street.
I can name each kid in each house
and there isn’t one house without someone I remember.
It was a magical place to grow up.
Since the very beginning
when the moon and stars guided us,
living close, we rose just after the sun,
slept with the windows open, the heavens pouring in
and the tiny tan moths bumping against the screens..
A natural rhythm guided us like a bell
sounding clear in our heads and our souls.
There is distance now in the mechanical, adult sense of time and life.
I move through most of it like an alien, a creature who knows it is not her way.
I clear a path for my children that is lined with green grass and blue skies,
the freedom of being loose in the yard with no one to watch them,
a nonsensical song of happiness from my son, a trip to the beach for my daughter,
her dolls lined up as she cautions them about man o’ wars
and the sun that can burn you.
They are only three, and I watch them in wonder.
Their sweet faces looking back at me with eyes so bright.
How to keep them whole?
When giant steps separate nature from so much of mankind.
Technology happening so fast that we stand to lose
what it is to be alive, to evolve, to feel the pulse
of our own humanity beating up from the earth.

Who are you, Modern Man, and where on earth are you taking us?

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All works © 2017, Shelley Hesse. All Rights Reserved.