Poetry and Prose by Wess Mongo Jolley

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Excavation

They found my fossilized remains
while excavating a freeway on-ramp.
They were encased in volcanic
rock, millions of years old.
In fact you can still see the site today,
abandoned within the cloverleaf of I-89.

Of course, after the construction
all that remains is a vague outline—
a foot, some hair, a couple teeth.
And there isn’t even a plaque
to memorialize the find.

When I drive past my remains,
camouflaged in the army green rock
twenty feet above the roadway,
I try to remember myself and
my life lived among centuries of extinction.

But every year the rain washes a
a bit more of me away.
Freezing ice dislodges
a tooth or a patch of skin.
Birds carry off my hair for their nests.

The fallen bodies on Everest
lie trailside for decades,
climbers glancing uncomfortably down
to see them become more windblown and tattered
with each passing summer.

Soon my remains will be completely gone,
and only the hum of the traffic will remain.
Tooth and bone and hair will
go the way of all that decays.
Nothing but dust and broken fragments
lost amidst construction rubble

and plans for the mall expansion.