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Pushing the Clock Hands Back

Important bloated men squat on the facts
thinking they can hide them with their weight:
men who think their power like King Canute
ordering the sea to behave, can abolish
the eons slow inexorable rise of mountains,
the branching and dying of species, wind
and water that will grind the Himalayas to dust.

They lean on the hands of the cosmic clock
protesting time itself, legislating false history.
Time does not end. Only civilizations
mad with power and drunk with riches,
building war machines that drain hope
and money from the poor and the formerly
middle class which is itself going extinct.

Time does not end, but species do.
Let us vote and rejoice to join our relatives
the dodo, the great auk and tyrannosaurus.
Time wears all egos down to blowing dust
although presidents, CEOs and preachers
stand tall and wave their bravado like a red
cape trying to stop change. It always comes.

Marge Piercy’s most recent novel is Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turbulent Post-Civil War Period (New York: William Morrow, 2005), and her newest book of poetry is The Crooked Inheritance (Knopf, 2006).

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