National Poetry Writing Month 2018, Day 11

This poem is based on the prompt for Day 11—a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?” [sic]

Okay, it’s no State of the Union, and it’s undoubtedly a lot farther into the future than was intended, but…

All I could ever be

I am a footnote in a textbook
I am a study cited in a medical journal
that some poor psych student
will have to remember for the midterm
after which I will become a piece of trivia
that former psych majors will recall from time to time
and sometimes use to impress (or confuse) their friends

I am a column of smoke
absorbed by the atmosphere
decades before vaporisation became the standard method
for disposal of corpses
I am the handful of leftover ashes
now covered by layers of topsoil
and the crumbling foundation of a building
fallen into disrepair

I am a certain quality
that will occasionally be recognised in others
but never identified—
and often mistaken for something else altogether
Millions will spend lifetimes trying
to reconstruct it—to achieve it themselves—
without knowing what it is

I am one fingerprint among billions
forming a continuum of existence
reconstructed in the minds of the survivors

(10 April 2018—posted April 11th)

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