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Suzanne Hartley

‘You Think It Will Last’: New Year’s verse by Suzanne Hartley

Suzanne Hartley, a regular docent/greeter at our Log House Museum for the past 12 months, offers this poem for the New Year:

“You Think It Will Last”

I jumped at the sounds
Of the latch and bells,
And the museum door opened
On an unlikely pair.
An old Indian chief
And a time traveler I know —
The Ninth Doctor, no less.

“I’m Number Nine,”
He announced with a grin.
“And this is Chief Lone Eagle.
Can we come in?”

I wanted to ask —
And Number Nine read my mind.
“Oh, the time ship is safe,
While I look after the old chief.
We’ve been up the Space Needle
For a good look at the place.
You should have seen the look on his face!
We stayed until night,
So he might see all the lights.
But Alki is home.”

The old chief raised a hand in greeting.
His face crinkled a toothless smile,
And he laughed and chattered
In some strange tongue.
“That’s NOT Chinook,”
Joked Number Nine.

“He says,
There are giant monsters
That might stride over the land.
And huge birds that float on the wind.
You make monuments that reach up to the sky.
And the lights!
Oh the beautiful lights!
People. People. People.
All these people.
So many people.
I see in my visions,
But none will believe.
Now, I see it for real.
In my time,
Only water and trees.
At night, only light
From the moon and the stars,
And from our campfires.”

The photo of Chief Seattle caught his eye.
“Could be my brother,” he joked.
“Not a handsome guy!”

“He doesn’t know him,”
Explained Number Nine.
I asked to know
How far back was his time.

“Oh! He’s not from the past,
This friend of mine.
He was born at Alki
In 3279.”

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