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Geologic Instant

Ice sheets grow or retreat in a mere
one thousand years. 100,000 years
is an instant compared to 177 million
the dinosaurs were here. Some

adaptations take time to evolve: flight
in four separate groups, sight with depth
across the animal phyla. The concept
of empathy. How quickly the changes

when humans arrive. Do they strive
to wipe out all large animals as if
they’re in competition with an asteroid?
They come and conquer, burn forests,

extract gold and coal, and leave a mess.
Unwanted guests, here only a couple
of hundred thousand years, humans have
paved and cemented what once was wild,

diverse with animals and plants. They use it up
and throw it out, as if another planet waits,
ready, in shades of blue and green, where
the air’s still clean and suitable to breathe.

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"River of Waiting" - Larry D. Thacker

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Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, & has twice been a Pushcart Prize & Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), & her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Potomac Review, The MacGuffin, Valparaiso Poetry Review, & The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes & tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry & does fabric & paper art. Retirement is her favorite job.

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