In response to the danger
of industrial pollution
an Eastern Indian Chief
asked his White audience:
"Why are you not furious
that someone is threatening
your seventh generation?"
A veneer of courtesy hiding
annoyance of muted fright
politely deferred reply.
Only much later when
each in self-confiding
on edges of troubled sleep
the answer came.
Of course we're not
Indians, if ever,
perceiving almost
nothing and no one
before parent's parents,
after children's children,
in fact so entranced
with high-tech styles
of escape and flight
to some rock-decibel dance
or flickering windows of fraud,
plasticating fast semi-nutrition
with numbing chemical delight
to grip a parentless, childless,
babyish NOW, NOW, NOW
by driving too fast
on killer highways
leaving them all behind
in carcynic exhaustion,
to clean up the mess,
not furious but FREE,
no seventh generation
in either direction
to care even less
for this enemy
WE ( ! )

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John Talbot Ross