Living in the End Times

Changes can be frightening, while constancy
can be an old friend like an ageless pair of Bean boots
or the tattered wool sweater I often rescue
from the trash bin. I confess, I’d rather nest
in my well-used garb listening to music
or to podcasts than head out to protests.

Yet, I’m leaving my offspring the end of the earth.
Will they flee to other planets to live in space suits?
Will the earth’s collapse be sudden,
like a rampaging river washing away all in its path,
even the steel bridges across it?

My closing days tug at my conscience.
To help leave a life-sustaining planet
we must vacate our bubbles, use our votes,
our voices, our purchases, and our bodies
to push our carbon footprint lower.

To do otherwise is to assent to those
with their heads in the sand
who condemn all of civilization
by saying, “All is well, all is well!”

Robert Paul Allen lives on a lake near the coast of Maine. He is surrounded daily by the state’s rugged beauty. He worked in the medical field in patient care and has seen the gamut of human trials and tribulations. The human condition inspires much of his poetry. He has been a serious poet for the past five years and has published 31 poems. His first chapbook, Between the Panes has just been published. He believes he still has something to say. Read other articles by Robert Paul.