Where we dug up the graves of Black slaves
who mined the first coal in Illinois,
where we desecrated the graves of indigenous people
that covered coal in the Southwest,
where we dug up animals, plants in their graves
and burned them as oil and gas and coal—
there, and throughout our earth, let us grieve
for the graves we robbed, and then
let us bless the graves of the dead that remain—
and over them, for the living, the wind, the sun.
Copyright 2022 Martha Collins. Casualty Reports, forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press in October 2022.
Martha Collins is a poet, translator, and editor. She has published ten books of poetry, including Night Unto Night (Milkweed, 2018) andmost recently Because What Else Could I Do.