Weathered by Time

February 1, 2008
By Ellen Tsay, Pleasanton, CA

Atop this hill, from where I stood
Observing the valley below,
I smiled upon the lush green land
Of grass swaying to and fro.

The herds of cow, the buffalo:
Across the fields they grazed,
And row upon row grew beans and corn
Beneath a sun that blazed.

Some decades later I returned
With husband, daughter and son,
To find the valley where once I had gazed
Destroyed, deceased, undone.

Where nature once had laid her pith
Mankind had laid to waste,
The trees sawed down, the crops torn out,
The beauty and wonder disgraced.

The lovely skies of white-streaked blue
Bleached gray and dulled by smog,
The land infested by buildings and cars–
We quailed at the sight, agog.

For though we are clever and know many things
There is one we have failed to see:
Dear nature once gave us our glorious Earth,
And now it may no longer be.

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