A MEDITATION ON MODERN HISTORY
For the Staff of Echoes, 1987-88
On May 27, students and faculty of Lincoln-
Sudbury Regional H.S. discovered that eight
old trees had been cut down in front of their
school--apparently as a Senior prank. All
that remained of the trees were 4-ft. stumps,
grotesque tombstones to their own former
existence. The area was soon cleared. A week
later, the Class of 1988 graduated.
When Sandburg wrote that "grass covers all,"
that in two years, ten, forgetting sets in,
he did not reckon with modern recall,
shrunken now, barely,
to a palsied week.
How is it that in centuries past,
with only mouth and ear at work,
human memory stretched far beyond
the bytes and ram of a silicon age?
* * *
They streamed across the levelled ground
(battlefield, graveyard, scene of crime),
eyes fixed on the Commencement stage
--no time for searching glances now, or thoughts
of the stolen shade.
* * *
When stumps are cut flush to the ground,
memories of trees "get disappeared,"
joining in some ghostly file
a thousand lost facts of a world besieged.
All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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