Judy is now
In her forties she works a bit
In a shop full of silk from Bali
Bags from a Women’s collective in Southern Mexico,
Gum carefully liberated from trees
Who, I’m sure, happily gave it up
Knowing just how trendy it would be.
I saw her again after so many years
Said hello, was greeted in a way
That left me feeling emptied,
But I didn’t say anything about that,
I just asked her how she was.
Her voice now cracks, gurgles, croaks
The effect on her of too many cigarettes
But that’s ok, says Judy.
The more we smoke the fewer people
She explains, smoking is a way to eradicate
The plague she calls human beings.
One fewer person, she explains
Is good for the Earth,
Even if that person is her.
And I don’t mention the greater drain
The ill are to the world
Or the damage tobacco crops do
To the land, the waters, and, ultimately
We use to sit, she and I,
Naked in the water,
A lake or a pond,
Sometimes a puddle would do,
Staring up at the reflected blue
Or at a moon whose bright opal
Set our bodies glowing in effusive glory
Against the background of the darker sky.
Long hours we sat,
Planning our next action
In defense of that which could not defend itself.
What would not get built on our watch,
Who sits in the tree this week,
Where the fence was weakest,
How to fight is won
By the compassionate warrior
Fierce and joyous.
We would look at the moon and she would howl
As I stood mute, in thought.
Now, the howl sits bound in her throat,
Unable to escape
Through the dark-matter mass grown of
Her loathing for herself,
The hatred for her species.