Michael T. Young
I keep believing in the fresh start,
keep turning back as if to begin,
but there’s no going past the push of hunger.
As a child, I filled jugs at a natural spring,
my hands rich with the scent of moss,
the rocks gurgling, the smell of wet soil
saturating the air with a kind of habitable baptism,
a slaked freshness I rose from
and turned toward home.
Years later, as I pass a construction site
and each morning there’s a little more cement,
a few more girders, wiring and steel
fused under acetylene flies,
I realize all those hands, all those minds
pick their way through halls of carbon and fly ash,
trace potentials down molecular paths of iron,
water and gravel, bits and pieces like breadcrumbs
trailing all the way back to subterranean lavas
and prehistoric furnaces, the inhuman fires
that go into making every habitation and home.