She remembers a time long ago
when these tribes danced
in rings of fire for her,
climbed the tallest mountains
to be next to her soft pale cheeks.
But she has aged prematurely,
like a hostage too long in captivity,
her orbit sagging with the weight
of unimportance, her phases dim
against the fierce red-fire casino.
She has seen it many times before,
at Sodom and Gomorrah, the western desert,
old worshipers lost
to the golden calf of luck,
doomed by machines that
shake hands for a price
and stain the shrinking prairie
with the black ink of greed.
Still, no one listens to her
but the tide, who loves her
in waves and rolls in her light.
And the tribes build more,
until the wind in the prairie is hollow,
like the sound of your last coin
dropping through the slot.
Last update: 15 July 1998
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