“We can’t restructure our society without restructuring the English language. One reflects the other.” -Ursula K. Le Guin
our communities come together
the words we do not use anymore.
And every year the list grows longer.
It is slow work to dismantle a language.
We do not need these words to describe our present
But we remember
because we know there was a time when not a day, not an hour passed
without these words overwhelming the souls of our ancestors
When they thought if they heard one more of them
one more time
on this thing they called the “24 hour news cycle”
they would break.
There were so many cracks
But they did not break.
Because the oldest among us tell us that there was a time when it was nearly impossible to
imagine a world without these words
Just as the youngest among us cannot imagine a world that needs them
Because it is slow work to reconstruct a language.
Every year we are creating new words
We are not fighting an uphill battle
We are harvesting seeds sown into rocky soil
tired from years of neglect
But our ancestors were careful gardeners.
And now they are putting up shoots
And they are blooming
Cleansing the old air with their new oxygen
Healing the atmosphere from which we breathe our life
Because we must know the soil we are tilling
if we are to continue to grow
And we are harvesting fruit.
This poem describes a practice that will be done in the future to remember words no longer needed to describe the present, but needed to remember and learn from the past and to honor ancestors.