Rootless in Patagonia


by Alistair Potter

In anyone over a certain age
Creepy questions arise unbidden
Given they're dead statistically

For life and health insurance companies.
Credit cards keep their distance
Preferring rosy-cheeked lads and lassies.

Mephisto shuffles center-stage
left to right, gloom to light,
Ready to draw and swipe his scythe.

The old, they say, are almost dead,
Due to dreadful destiny,
karma, to be borne smilingly.

Karma includes birth and death!
Granted, your Grace, but you have roots
In Mexico, Moscow, Milwaukee, Mongolia.

(“There are no cows in Moscva”)
Patagons are giants, pure and simply.
You'll find sparse roots in spines and cacti.

Patagonia is a metaphor
Pointing the beginning-of-the-end,
Where all is sparse, unyielding, tough.

Someone said, and thousands thought:
Birth is death and death is birth.
Let them come to Patagonia,

Where birth is birth and death is death,
And ne'er the twain shall meet – unless...
Unless the desert blooms again.