POEM: The Monument

On this star’s third planet, we chanced

on a stone structure submerged half in sand.

A monument to the ascendant species,

now dead ten million sunsets since.

A center of erudition or refreshment, perhaps,

built by the planet’s primates.

We knew not its name or purpose.

Bodies mummified by desert air,

remained in the monument,

arms resting on tables.

Flat instruments, electronic in nature, bearing small

windows that once displayed symbols, images,

lay clutched at the occupants’ arm ends.

Was exchange of emotions or thought

feasible only through these devices?

Anatomical dissection may disclose

other means of communication.

Curious containers of ceramic or crystal,

once holding water or other fluids

for sustenance, shared tabletop space.

Probing the planetary crust revealed water

copiously covered the whole world

before it became barren twenty-seven

thousand stellar orbits ago, when gases

of carbon caused climates to heat,

oceans to eventually evaporate.

Wild winds now encircle the world,

one moment masking,

the next, exposing,

the enduring monument.

Yet we pondered its purpose.

Before forsaking that shocking shrine,

a stormy squall swerved,

sweeping sand from the structure’s scoured surface.

Now standing naked, it showed us its name

in archaic icons: Starbucks.


Michael Sedgwick

December, 2015

About Michael E. Sedgwick

I live in a beautiful retirement community beneath the Catalina Mountains, 26 miles north of Tucson, and enjoy writing short stories, novels, memoirs and essays. I've been married to a wonderful woman for 56 years and enjoy traveling the world with her.
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One Response to POEM: The Monument

  1. Stuart Watkins says:

    Starbucks shows your wit and was a cute ending that caught me with a cup of morning java in my hand, which I almost spilled. Good write.

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