Act of Contrition

Kneel at the feet of the searing, 

Withered and flattened


O my Country!

Take your Penance 

And Swallow it.

Ask the Kurds 

And the Yemenis

And Nigerians and

All those others with 

Brown hair and dark eyes

Ask the Mothers and Fathers 

Across the World,

Ask ALL of THEM to

Forgive you.

Forgive you for the horrors 

You have Shoveled upon THEM

Like huge, burning COALS

And the ruin you have made of 

Their Children’s Futures.

Then, only then,

Crying and rending 

Your Clothes—

Take all you have taken

And all you have given to

Those you have Enslaved,

Endangered, Injected, Orphaned,

And Killed in Any Way or Another with

Your Brutalities , your False Oaths,

Your Robberies and your Refusals

And YOU will have given 

One one-hundred Trillionth of 

What YOU owe.

But it will NOT be ENOUGH.

Keep Giving and Wailing and 

Gnashing your teeth.

Stop ONLY,

Pause ONLY, to

Tell your Children

The Why, and the How

And the Truth

You are Accounting for.

Because you may NEVER,

(Know this for CERTAIN)

EVER, account for all 

You have Done in 

Scalding the Earth and 

Piercing the HEART of 

Every NATION, 

Every OCEAN,

Every TRIBE,





EVERY inch of AIR and SPACE, 

When all they asked was

To LIVE to LOVE, to DIE, to BE


Mary Ann Maggiore

Mary Ann Maggiore is a former Mayor of Fairfax elected on an environmental platform and founder of the Affordable Housing initiative and Youth Advisory there. At the same time Mary Ann served as the Executive Director of Girl Scouts Save the Bay serving 55,000 girls. Mary Ann's work has been honored by the CA Senate, CA Assembly, Working Solutions Community Innovator Award and the City of San Francisco. Today Mary Ann continues her commitment to youth as ED of LAUNCH!, Guiding Young People 18 to 30 to Meaningful Work.

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