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when i was little i was most terrified of atom bombs and AIDS.

by Eli Skipp

we primarily dream about the apocalypse -- big 'ol caravans
hauling items we swear we'll need across big 'ol stretches
of barren land all grey and gravel and empty. we're out-
running nuclear war, or tsunamis, unavoidable storms or troops
closing in, who knows? zombies or plagues or the religious right.

what's worse is, halfway away from whatever terrible plight's got
us on the get-go, we realize every time that we've forgotten
something or someone direly important, and have to turn back --
hoping and hoping with our hearts in knots that we'll have enough
time to grab this important thing and still run.

reading through a book all about how our generation is the first
generation without God, and how we're coping, the author is sympa-
thetic: he too, forever and ever, dreams of the blinding flash, the
soundlessness, being suffocated or crumpled or dying of radiation,
the effects of the next Nagasaki nuke detonated with him smack dab
in the worst of the blast zone.

and he says, and i agree: we all halfway expect the world to end
before we die. we refuse to accept that the world can keep going
without us.


Posted on 09/24/2008
Copyright © 2022 Eli Skipp

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Nanette Bellman on 09/24/08 at 11:46 PM

Eli, first and foremost let me say that the title drew me into this. Those things frightened me when I was little, as well. Second, I've been tossing around an idea about Hiroshima. Good job. Very stunning and truthful read.

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 09/25/08 at 11:08 PM

this is amazing. i couldn't agree more. i'm enthralled by everything you've written here. beautiful work here.

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 09/26/08 at 03:38 PM

great job, eli. i can really feel this one under my skin.

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 08/23/11 at 06:52 PM

Still great.

Posted by Richard Vince on 02/10/13 at 09:23 PM

mm. yes. the ending especially. :)

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