Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Some Time After the Apocalypse: Family Loyalty, Part I” by Terrie Leigh Relf. Ms. Relf is a Lifetime Member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and has been nominated for both the Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards several times. Her most recent poetry collections in include Letting Out the Demons and Other Poems (Elektrik Milk Bath Press, 2013) and An Untoward Bliss of Moons (Alban Lake Publishing, 2014). She is working on her next two collections, Further Adventures with the Muse and Postcards from Space. Please visit her website at: tlrelf.wordpress.com.
Some Time After the Apocalypse: Family Loyalty, Part I
Terrie Leigh Relf
Ripe pears and fresh greens,
cherries tart, sans pits,
an avocado with salsa fresca,
and yes, she consumes them all,
our own hungers gnawing
through our very bones.
“More!” she cries, as if our gardens
were fertile with organic fruit,
with vegetables sure to ripen
destined for her gluttonous maw.
She is our older sister
(as we are so oft reminded),
and so must do our part,
as she has always claimed
the inalienable, “Me first!”
Until it is our time (if ever),
we sprinkle salt, store fragrant herbs
prepare the spit and sharpen knives.
For our patience a just reward:
We’ll soon make a feast of her.
Poet’s Notes: I’ve always been intrigued by the tropes and potential scenarios of post-apocalyptic fiction, film, and poetry. This poem was inspired, in part, by Shel Silverstein’s “Ladies First” (which is one of my favorite poems of all time), watching a few post-apocalyptic films (the titles of which elude me at the moment), and wondering how a high-maintenance character (with a proverbial bizarre sense of entitlement) might fare in such a landscape. I also found myself pondering family loyalty as well as the individual and collective sacrifices that are, or could be made. The poem emerged in this free verse style, and I did play around with several forms and rhyming stanzas before I returned to free verse. I wanted a dollop of humor along with a slightly lyrical tone to contrast with the horrific aspect. I do so love a good cautionary poem, and Silverstein is one of the masters!
Editor’s Note: The turn at the end is simply delicious, isn’t it?