A Legacy of Sorts

by Paul A. Freeman
The Write Idea
Second Place, April 2018
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


Above the Western Desert,
snared by an updraft
the plastic bag soars and swoops
dips and dives
rises once more
into the pale blue sky.

The wondering eye of the sun
tracks its flight
from a Cairo slum
to this desolate expanse.

Seized by a vortex of devil’s own dust,
puffed out like a cherub’s cheeks,
it floats from the clamour of a ghetto
to the soundless dunes.

The plastic bag descends,
sinks in a mire of windblown sand.
By-product of a dying age,
it endures eternal, undegradable –
a relic for humanity
or an alien race.


This is a tightly written, evocative vignette (Seized by a vortex of devil’s own dust,/ puffed out like a cherub’s cheeks,/ it floats from the clamour of a ghetto/ to the soundless dunes.), reminiscent of a seminal scene in the film American Beauty. It has a broader, international reach though. The sardonic ending brings it to a precise conclusion. --R.T. Castleberry

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