Would Artichokes Choose to be Thoroughbreds?

Is there a person in your head that you've always wanted to be?

A poet

A scientist

A sports hero?

An adventurer

An architect

An astronaut?

Maybe you'd choose another gender

Another skin color

Another nationality.

If Mother Earth could be different

Would she choose to be reborn without us?

After all, we're relatively new

Hugely expendable.

Not to mention grouchy



And farty.

Would anchovies choose to be thoroughbreds

And artichokes to be hummingbirds?

Humans are restless creatures, you know.

Migrations are common in our history -

Into ancient Rome, for its economy and jobs

Into Asia and Africa from Europe in the 14th century

Into the lands of the sedentary people in Central Asia

By the pastoral and nomadic.

Did you realize that a mass migration is happening

Right now

In your living room?

We are migrating out of touch-land

Out of physical and carbon-drenched neighborhoods

Onto screens and zooms and online meets.

We are certain we can return.

Rise, like Phoenix,

From the ashes of despair.

But if that day never comes?

What if we have created a garden of hatred that cannot flourish?

A landscape of warfare that can only shrivel?

A virus has now migrated into our cells

Crushed our defenses

Rendered our knowledge warehouses impotent.

Revealed us to be vulnerable, frail,

Like paper dominoes

Wingless eagles

Cowering tigers.

Of course we will overcome

So said Dr. King.

Of course we will return, honkers all, like geese in summer.

Of course our children will socialize as before

Learn as we did

Bring us grandchildren to love.

Of course.

What if those grandchildren


That we shredded decency, ethics, compassion?

What if they reject us

And all we stood for.

Things we knuckled under to


Burned down


The people we bruised and battered

The failed leaders we idolized

The cries of children we drowned in greed and failing life boats?

The tears of the disavowed, displaced, denigrated and disallowed?

Maybe an alien universe will contact us

Save us from oblivion

Save us from ourselves.

Stephen Hawking was dubious:

"If aliens decided to visit us

Then the outcome might be similar to when Europeans arrived in the Americas.

That did not turn out well for the Native Americans." (1)

When we finally take off our masks

Will anchovies be thoroughbreds?

Will artichokes look like hummingbirds?

I'm dubious too.

(1)"What Stephen Hawking Predicted".

c. Corinne Whitaker 2020