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sleeping

wake up, She whispered
but still we slept
and spirit that came in infinite forms
became one face
and those who saw God
in the trees and rocks and sky and rivers
were exiled or burned or silenced

wake up, She said
but still we slept
and fashioned boats from trees
large enough to house men by the hundreds
we conquered new lands
and enslaved our brothers
and became great kings

wake up, She urged
but still we slept
and littered our earth
with trains
and factories
and endless miles of wires
we became God
and made our own kind of fire
so the dark would never come

wake up, She cried
but still we slept
and incinerated populations
for the color of their hair and eyes
we invented cars
and washing machines
so life would be easy
and made bombs shaped like mushrooms
that decimated villages of mothers and children

wake up, She begged
but still we slept
and those with flowers in their hair
learned a new language:
binary
and our houses grew
and our cities
and our people
and we needed more food of course
so we invented sprays
and fertilizers
and had to breed more cattle
to feed the crowded masses

wake up, She screamed
but still we slept
and the oceans rose
and the storms thrashed
and the rivers dried
and the fires burned
and the cancerous growth of humanity grew larger
until we made the most powerful bomb of all
and aimed it at Mother Earth herself

suddenly She went quiet
and we woke at last
only to find we had all drowned
no longer had gills

~ jennifer sundeen
september 2017