Our eyes cast down together in silence
as we watch her dying slowly
with the changing of the seasons.
Like dead leaves,
her once brightly-colored petals
cascade to our feet.
Chemotherapy tugs the lush, bladed hair
from her scalp, while blotches of red
eat away at her skin.
We feel her tears pelt
against our own flesh,
as her brittle hands crumple into fists -
at years having been taken for granted
as our butchering fangs pierced and suckled the sweetest sap
flowing from her mountains.
Still, she tries to forgive us
for abandoning her to the mercy of the gods
who blow only harsh winds and acid rain
upon her supple limbs.
We can no longer dance in the playground she built,
now littered with cigarettes, beer cans and fear.
At times, the moon listens,
but only the sun
throws itself over the horizon,
kneels down to worship The MOther,
and holds her with his warmth.
We are not the fighters,
nor the saviors
who can rescue her from this hellish existence,
from the wounds and scars inflicted.
We are only the descendents of her womb
clinging to ourselves in desperation
as her fertile ground desintegrates
bemeath our walking feet.
By Marisa Torrieri