Until Darkness Takes Us

Over the smoggy horizon, Atlas quits,
hands in his walking papers.
His shoulders throb from shoring up
too many sidewalks, highways,
cloned houses and condos
pressing the guts from earth's belly.

His ears ring from the screams
of newborns in foodless deserts
and cheap housing developments;
from the sighs of the homeless 
camped over heat vents or
laid out on park benches;
from the wails of penned cattle
and hormone plump chicken
who no longer know what it's like
to run free.

Bewildered, we sink through the cracks 
in this abandoned balloon. 
Our hearts thrum distress signals 
into the blackness. We send out search parties, 
offer a hefty raise, still hold out hope 
for one more Olympian reprieve 
before the last spin is spun.

Pris Campbell
revised 2008


Published in Outlaw Poetry

Painting of Atlas from fotosearch

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