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An Application of the Second Law

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  • An Application of the Second Law

    In the rustic air of thinning smoke,
    a mixture of dust and dusk, a mother
    motioned to her son to help clean up
    the mess of the aftermath. He responded
    with standing stillness and the face
    of rebellion. What is the point of fixing
    what was purposely broken, he thought,
    will it not be torn down again by those
    who will it? The son, a boy no more than fifteen,
    picked up the parts of a felled pot, an olive
    sapling, planted by himself. The sapling was
    uprooted, its branches severed and budding leaves
    seared, and the soil in which it was once sheltered
    was scattered on the scorched pavement.
    A fragment of the pot reminded him of a country
    he once saw on a map of Eastern Europe.
    He could repair it with mud and clay,
    but the piece, subject to further secession,
    now belonged to the earth.