After the Smog Came

Nobody listened to the warnings, so when it came, it was a shock. The atmosphere was so badly poisoned by toxic smog from burning forests, exhaust fumes and waste, it leaked into space and discoloured the face of the moon.  It just disappeared.

After a number of years, older children had forgotten about it and those born after the smog didn’t know what it looked like anyway. A cult grew up around the invisible satellite that promised to glow again one day when all pollution had been cleared and the Earth restored to its health and beauty.

Parents across the planet continue to tell their children stories, read poems and croon lullabies about the pale face in the sky that once watched over them, so that in their dreams they sleep with the moon, unaware that she is listening and watching over them still.       [144 words]

Kim M. Russell, 14th September 2020

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Moonbeams and Moon Dreams

Merril is back with September’s Prosery prompt to inspire prose that includes a line from a poem, which can be flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction no longer than 144 words, not including the title. We can change punctuation and capitalize words in the given line, but we may not insert words.

Like me, Merril goes to bed early but loves seeing the moon in the morning. This past week, she imagined it was watching over her on her morning walk, which inspired her choice of line:

“In their dreams
they sleep with the moon.”

From Mary Oliver, ‘Death at Wind River’

51 thoughts on “After the Smog Came

  1. “Parents across the planet continue to tell their children stories, read poems and croon lullabies about the pale face in the sky that once watched over them,”… this is heartwrenchingly beautiful, Kim! 💝

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is sad, but the writing is lovely. I like how you incorporated the line.

    And it’s funny, but it reminded me of one of my favorite Star Trek Next Generation episodes where Capt. Picard sort of dream experiences a world that is gone (and gets his flute), gradually the climate went. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so sad for me to read but that could be influenced by the smoky filled view from my Portland, Oregon window. I do like the hopefulness that the parents continued to tell stories and sing of the moon to their children.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I pray for rain to dispel the dreadful toxic smoke that blankets the west. Normally, my daughter sees Mt. Hood in the distance from her bedroom window. She longs to see it again. My heart goes out to all those who’ve lost their homes and even their communities. Beautiful poem, Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  5. WA state is also covered in smoke, ash, and embers; it all seems so biblical.Your piece is deliciously dystopian, yet there are whiffs of hope midst the toxicity.

    Liked by 1 person

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