Extinction

“That would make humanity extinct,”
said the little girl passing by.

She can’t be more than eleven.
At eleven, extinction was an
abstraction to me, something
that happened to ancient animals
and maybe someday giant pandas.
But time passes and human extinction
is a real possibility for the
not-too-distant future.

After the little girl, a blind man walks by,
asks strangers where the nearest recycling bin is.
One replies, “Just down that way…”
and the blind man keeps walking.
The bin is far away, though,
and I watch and wait as he slowly
makes his way there, tapping
along as he goes.

He nearly reaches it, but misses,
and instead rounds a corner.
I follow him but when I round
the corner, he is gone. 
People with vision pass by
and throw trash on the ground,
while the blind man spends his
morning trying to recycle.

I wish that little girl could meet him
because somehow I know that
as long as he is in the world,
we very well may
stave off extinction.

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