I See a Great Moon

In memory of Daniel Ellsberg (1931-2023), author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

The doctors let us in to see her.
The room was bare,
Only a mattress on the floor.
They’d bound her hands.

She looked up at the ceiling
As if she could see the sky.
Something about her made us reverent.
We waited for her to speak.

“I see a great moon,
So bright it makes the night
Brighter than day,
Brighter even than the sun…

“I see a vast cloud
Covering the sky,
Gray, brown, black,
All the colors of the earth…

“I see death,
So many dead
That you cannot begin
To see even one death.”

We asked,
“Where do you see this?
Where are you? When?”
She answered,

“I am everywhere and nowhere.
It is right now.
It is yesterday.
It is tomorrow.”

When we left her, night had fallen.
We walked without speaking,
Distracted by our own thoughts.
All at once came the flash.

Roger Stoll lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has published articles, book reviews and political poetry in Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Internationalist 360, Jewschool, Marxism-Leninism Today, MintPress News, MRonline, New Verse News, Orinoco Tribune, Popular Resistance, Resumen Latinoamericano, San Francisco Examiner, and ZNet. Read other articles by Roger.