Lemmings: The Cliff Notes

For B.B., who understands

At first we thought it was the best game:
I step on my sister’s tail, she squeaks,
spins around and flips me backwards,
tail over chin, and we giggle,
the way we do.

We played and played,
first in the brush, then round in circles
in the open meadow,
oblivious of predators;
then a splash in the stream to cool off.

But in the end we couldn’t resist,
there were just too many of us,
and the frenzy of running all together
was ecstasy, like we’d never known,
not even when we played the game.

When the winds came up,
and clouds passed the sun,
we were drawn to the edge
and the enormous sky beyond,
infinitely blue and white.

This was what we were meant for,
we were sure of that, as sure as we were
when we’d lose ourselves in the game,
as sure as we’d be after the long leap down,
when one by one we’d crash into the waves…

and swim away.

Roger Stoll is a Latin America/Caribbean solidarity activist with the Task Force on the Americas, a three-decades-old anti-imperialist human rights organization. He has published articles, book reviews and political poetry in Dissident Voice, Resumen Latinoamericano, MintPress News, Black Agenda Report, Popular Resistance, Orinoco Tribune, Marxism-Leninism Today, Counterpunch, San Francisco Examiner, ZNet, Jewschool, and New Verse News. Read other articles by Roger.