On Resilience

An aerial view of north quad and the IM field

I wonder what they were thinking when they planted
buildings on the side of the hill—if they didn’t know
the earth would spend decades longing to reclaim
the wood, to soften the bricks back into clay, the glass
into sand that would tumble by trees keeping watch
over tamed fields teeming with life for the first time
in a year. Or, perhaps, they knew the hill would hold on
to us—tightly—for longer than she should—that gravity
was the enemy eager to make a scapegoat out of her.
So we blame her for our broken ankles and bruised hips
when, really, she gifts us grass to save our knees
and elbows as we fall head over heels to embrace
bulldozed ground we believe to be more forgiving
than her crown gilded in the sunset we praise instead.

Riley Halpern ’22 is majoring in English (creative writing), with a concentration in narrative journalism.

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Published August 2021