The end of the end of us

By Mia Dyson, 2021

And when it comes to the end


the seas have roared over   the shoreline   and the dunes   and the seaside towns

after they have lapped salty froth into city streets


the forests have screamed their flaming    primal scream

howling in agony   and despair  for the lost

the birds!  My God, the birds!

When it comes to the end of the end of us

when we who believed     or worse!    we who ignored

the murderous lie   that we were to have


over all living things

over the sea

the air

    the land   the rocks!

When it comes to the end of the end of us

a fine remnant of those not ‘us’

will crawl and slither and swish   out    of the smoking embers

they will rest a while

and then


they will begin again     the round of life

the cockroaches

the rats

the jellyfish

the moss

those we never dreamt to count among ‘us’

will carry on and rebuild 

they will multiply and evolve

they will replenish the earth

and restore a glistening balance     of give    and take,

living and dying   upon the earth

after the end  of the end   of us


if we had gathered all that is     into our hearts with    trembling gratitude

if we had sung of our belonging   rather than 

our dominion

if, as a child leans into her mother’s love   we had leant   with tenderness   into the land

If we had known  just    how deep and wide    the us    really was

Perhaps even now, with our dying breath     it is not too late   

to utter our thanks   and pray    for renewal


or without