Lullabye for the Second Millennium

By J. Allyn Rosser b. 1957
From the point of view of all time,
these recent changes signal
more a return to nature
than a departure, than degradation.
In the beginning, after all,
there was boiling rock.
Then waters arranging their bodies
around an era of softer forms:
lichen, grassland, swaying treetops.
Then creatures, movingly fleshed,
treading pathways that hardened.
Then pavement hardening
and cities, monumental.
Soon mostly rock again,
and radiant. More and more like moon.
Soon, sooner than is being thought,
there will be even more light.
The creatures will have stopped
being able to move
or be moved.
And the rock will boil.

Source: Poetry (December 2000).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2000 issue of Poetry magazine

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December 2000
 J. Allyn Rosser


J. Allyn Rosser was born in Pennsylvania and attended Middlebury College in Vermont as well as the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a doctorate. Her works include Bright Moves (1990), winner of the Morse Poetry Prize; Misery Prefigured (2001), winner of the Crab Orchard Award; Foiled Again, winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize; and Mimi's Trapese (2014). Her poetry has also been published in such periodicals as . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Weather, Sciences, Arts & Sciences, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Allusion

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