History Lesson, by Pat Wadsworth

In Kazakhstan private ownership was abolished
livestock was abandoned
the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya Rivers
were diverted in a vain attempt
to irrigate cotton plantations
half the population died off from hunger
one hundred sixteen bombs were tested above ground
twenty-five hundred times more deadly
than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima

and still the testing went on
four hundred fifty-six atomic bombs later
the Aral Sea, once called the Blue Sea
ceased to exist
but those who live there
still dream of waves and fishes


About “History Lesson” : I am saddened by the increasing fragility of this beautiful planet we human beings call home and by the indifference shown to the fate of future generations. When I heard a story on NPR about the desiccation of the once mighty Aral Sea, I wanted to learn more about it.What I learned moved me to write this poem.

Pat Wadsworth has been writing poems, stories, and kept journals since learning to read and write. Expressing  the joy, sorrow, beauty and wonder of life has been her way of staying balanced in good times and sane in bad ones. After retiring from a twenty-four year career working with high-risk youth and their families, she enrolled in writing courses at her local community college. Encouraged by her teachers, friends and family members to submit her work for publication she finally took the plunge. Her poetry has appeared in Mind Magazine, The Voices Project and The Blue Heron Review.


Pat Wadsworth

%d bloggers like this: