Letter to a Young Poet

July 21, 2013  by Rob Ganson

My letter to a new friend, an amazing 13 year old poet.


Dear Baby Girl,

I’m sorry we couldn’t elect better leaders, that we let bottom feeders
extract their cash from our mother’s womb with disregard for you.
I’m sorry I let Monsanto poison your future and tar sands stain the
land, sorry about the uncomfortable irony of the endless miles I drive
to protest, to resist those who stain your skies.

I’m sorry that we failed to live up to our own revolution, that evolution
led us into three piece suits, banks, and corruption. I’m sorry that we
fight an endless needless string of wars instead of poverty, hunger,
greed and malice. I’m sorry I followed Alice down the rabbit hole for
all those years instead of standing tall to face the men who so
grievously harmed your future.

I’m sorry about the orange rivers, the vast expanses of corn and beans
where diverse and healthy crops once waved. I’m sorry you have to see
those big-ass pickup trucks with guns in the back window, rubber truck
balls dangling from the trailer hitch, the no fat chick bumper sticker.
I’m sorry for all that country-western music on the radio with Rush
Limbaugh and men that want title to your womb.

I’m sorry you will never see the vast wilderness that made me a poet.
We owed you better than we gave. I’m sorry I wasn’t brave enough,
committed enough to face the monsters sooner, when I was young
and strong, when I had bullhorn breath, and thunder in my chest.
I’m sorry I’m not leaving you a better world than I found, that I failed
my test to arrest the progress to oblivion. I’m sorry we soiled the future.

Your new old friend,

[Rob Ganson describes himself as “a poet from the land, the people, the beat of a drum circle.” He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Float Like a Butterfly, Sing Like a TreeFollow the Clear River Down, and A Storm of Horses.]

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