Gloria Heffernan – The World Without Us

Gloria Heffernan is the author of the poetry collection, What the Gratitude List Said to the Bucket List, (New York Quarterly Books), and Exploring Poetry of Presence: A Companion Guide for Readers, Writers and Workshop Facilitators (Back Porch Productions). She has written two chapbooks: Hail to the Symptom (Moonstone Press) and Some of Our Parts, (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including Chautauqua, Columbia Review, Soutword (Ireland), Stone Canoe, and Yale University’s The Perch. Gloria teaches at Le Moyne College and the YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center in Syracuse, New York.


The World Without Us

I have seen it, you know. And it is beautiful.
Blue sky alive with petrels and albatross.
Blue water swarming with iridescent krill.
A continent some think desolate
brimming with life at its most resilient.
Eight million chinstrap penguins call Antarctica home,
but not a single politician, Starbucks, or bank.
If someone asked you to imagine
the world without us,
you might think it empty and grim,
but the whales in Paradise Bay would beg to differ.
and the elephant seals lounging
on the beach at Half-Moon Island
would snore contentedly and never miss us.



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