Poet’s Corner: When the Trees Are Gone

When the trees are gone and

they will be truly gone
we will no longer find their solace of shade
on a cloudless summer day
then they will be forgotten for
how can we live in the world other than we do

When the fish are gone and
they will be truly gone
we will suffer the loss of their grace in
the rising seas
then they will be forgotten for
how can we live in the world other than we do

When the birds are gone and
they will be truly gone
we will look to the sky for a sign of
the divine and see only our own reflection
then they will be forgotten for
how can we live in the world other than we do

When the animals are gone
and they will truly be gone
we will hear the echo of our own voices
as we record their extinction
then they will be forgotten for
how can we live in the world other than we do

When you and I are gone my love
and we will truly be gone
we will no longer bear witness to the desecration
of our earth in the name of profit
then we will be forgotten for
how can we live in the world other than we do

John Eisner

John Eisner, a builder, raised two children with his wife Maureen on the Island in the 1980s. Recently returned from 3½ years in Mexico, he now lives year-round in Chilmark, in a just-completed new home.