Poetry | History


(c)  2021 by Vernon Miles Kerr, VernonMilesKerr.com

Yesterdays connot be viewed,
Only proposed by the mess they left behind: 
Scraps of sloughed-off skin,
Bits of fabric, shards of bone,
Caprolites in caves,
Or marks left on their walls,
By ancestors extrapolating
That we'd be around someday to read.

Even their great, stone stuctures, 
Too massive to be moved, or even decay,
Or the towering columns of codex and scroll,
Were merely the gouges in mud
Their desperate fingers made
At the edge before a plunge,
Before they slipped-away,
Through the mire of their today,
Into a black and deep abyss
So absolute there's no escape.

But without their attempts at imagined immortality
We'd have no knowledge they existed.
And from those scratchings, chippings and heftings we do,
From those artifacts — we extrapolate them.

We call that, "History"
Giving that word weight,
As if observable Truth.
It is not Truth, no matter how we stretch.
At best, it is an imagined-past, 
Little better than an imagined-future.
It's a partial-truth, derived by digging around
Through humanity's land-fill.
It is not absolute Truth. 
History books are guesses, 
Or commentaries on others' guesses.
Guessing is not Truth, no matter how hard
We scratch, chip and heft to elevate it.

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