“Generation Ship” by David Barber
The dead left stories, they left us pictures.
These muffled people standing somewhere
cold enough for the air to freeze white;
also skies, where a sun was kept. Not known
is the reason why trees waved their branches,
or why water attacked the edge of land
unceasingly. They had pets, which they fed
but did not eat; and gravity, which is not
the same as spin, and was also left behind.
But these stories are not our stories.
More terrible is the dark that waits outside
and our parents promised could not get in.
We no longer even pretend. The ports
are covered and the lighting never dims.
Our stories warn of decks where no one goes,
despite the sacrifices picked by lot
to keep us from harm. Believers think
that one day the unborn will reach heaven.
Still the walls close in. Best we stay quiet
and not give away our hiding places.
|David Barber is a poet.|