What happens if the world falls down?
If Atlas is no longer around to hold it,
is anything or anyone strong enough?
When Atlas gave up his burden we all
picked it up like a cannonball until our
shoulders began to hurt, and our back
gave out, and we began to ask:
What if I should drop it?
Each and every one of us, afraid of dropping
the ball, with time enough to remember that we
were once free to never pick it up in the first place.
Now we hold the elements and the laws of nature, too,
and impersonal forces, a whole world of reason
discovering its own strength more and more each day.
But at what cost? To be almost unbroken while
lifting each other up with our conquering muscles?
To kick at pearls, ivory, dyes, and gemstones, while
being crushed to death by the same forces of time?
George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, The Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Havana Times, South China Morning Post, The Buffalo News, and more.