In memory of my great grandmother Elizabeth, my grandmother Ludmilla, and all the revolutionary ancestors who laid the groundwork, fought ferociously, and dedicated their lives to building a better world. Thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me. Love, Tashka
If you could never see the sun again, would you remember what it looked like?
Would you remember the way the golden rays warmed your skin
the scent of it
tangled in your hair?
If you never heard the bird calls again,
Could you remember their sweet songs
and sing them at dawn?
The sparrow, the thrush, the cardinal, the wren,
happy to welcome the day.
If you never again saw the first flowers of spring
could you remember their scent,
soft and delicate, dancing on the wind?
Nettles, Hyacinth, violet, and rose,
spicy, salty, warm, and sweet.
I’ve never drunk fresh, clean water out of the local creek,
but I know I should be able to do so,
each thirsty cell crying out
“no, no, no, this is wrong,
there should be endless pools of clean water to drink.”
I’ve never known air without pollution,
toxic chemicals filling my lungs with each breath,
but I know that is wrong,
there must be some mistake,
the air should be pure, life giving,
I’ve never known a world without plastic, without
tiny particles of blue and green and yellow and red
filling the bellies of fish and whales.
Choking rainbows of primary colors.
But I know there was one once,
a way of life
that did not promote death,
I can remember things I never had a chance to know.
I mourn for things I cannot name,
I am broken by loss
born into it,
the sins of the father’s and all that.
I didn’t ask for this,
this terrible weight of the failure of generations past,
their poisonous greed and dangerous addictions,
to oil, to money, to power.
They swallowed up my world before I had a chance to live in it.
And I’m angry.
I’m really fucking mad to be put in this position,
watching the world die,
because of others’ bad decisions.
So here we are, picking up the pieces.
And sometimes it’s just so frustrating,
like banging your head against the biggest wall.
But at the same time,
I’m thanking all our ancestors,
who fought this beast
with all their might.
Who lived and died
within the culture of rebellion,
and laid the groundwork,
for what must be done now.
I’m thinking of them tonight,
and I promise them
we will make their struggle worth it,
that all their hard work will pay off,
that we will work
until we bring this monster to its knees.
Or die trying,
becoming ancestors ourselves.
Inherited resistance, that’s what this is.
Built into our spiral strands of DNA,
just waiting to be awakened.
buried in our bones,
Thank you for listening,