The Mountains We Must Climb

by Cerelia Abram

My family emigrated from the British Isles
Pushed handcarts up mountains for two hundred miles
My Pa was a land owner, my ma a rug weaver
My sister drank bad water, died from Typhoid fever

I live in a beach front house
Charged my pants and a rhinestone blouse
I glare cross-eyed at a computer to earn my dough
Pay taxes for bridges and newly repaved roads

Ten kids in a one room cabin with a roof that leaks
Heaving buckets of water up from the creek
In between the logs the wind and snow blew
Ate wild hogs that were hard to chew

At the supermarket I buy my GMOs
Spend my nights watching violent TV shows
Burn excess calories listening to my ipod speakers
Eat antibiotics anytime I’m feeling weaker

I slept on a hay filled gunnysack
Walked three miles to school and back
As the ice and snow covered the top of the fourth barbwire
Wearing patched up handmade attire

I have fifty thousand dollars in credit card debt
And social network everyone I’ve ever met
I’m twice divorced feminist
And when I feel alone I take anti-depressants

I farmed morning till night, then sewed in the candlelight
Shared a bath in a tin tub every Saturday night
Dug a canal with a shovel in a hand-carved canoe
That Spring I died from the flu

Now Iran’s gone nuclear and everything’s china-made
Bankruptcy is the product of medical aide
The earth is warming and the sea is rising
From the planes and the cars we can’t stop driving