The Next State by Trish Hopkinson

“To remember Hiroshima is to abhor nuclear war. To remember Hiroshima is to commit oneself to peace.” –Pope John Paul II on his visit to Hiroshima, Feb. 25, 1981

Every moment becomes
the past in an instant.
Our hands ache with despair,

the inability for reparation.
The unimaginable loss of thousands
imprinted into a copper etching.

The wax melted onto the surface
of subsistence. Curls of copper
burr into engraved cities

and the crosshatching of civilizations.
The ink of history seethes
into grooves, awaiting impression.

This is the first state.

Every moment becomes
the past in an instant.
One divergent force, an impression

so high-pressure, the plate
can no longer produce
a distinct replica—

the hollows disfigured, the edges
distressed. It takes years of work
to repeat the process, to resurface.

This is the second state.

We are stationed here in copper,
in dark ruts and muddy ink.
We are the products pressed

onto paper, products of all
that came before us, products
of passion and of pain,

products of art and wisdom
and learning and of the other,
the not-knowing,

and the witnessing of all
this through individual experience.
The impression is lasting.

This is the next state.

–originally published in The Day After by Art Access & Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.



Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. A Pushcart nominated poet, she has been published in several anthologies and journals, including Stirring, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Chagrin River Review; and her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017. Hopkinson is co-founder of a regional poetry group, Rock Canyon Poets, and Editor-in-Chief of the group’s annual poetry anthology entitled Orogeny. She is a product director by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow Hopkinson on her blog where she shares information on how to write, publish, and participate in the greater poetry community at


Editor’s Note: Trish Hopkinson is Califragile‘s Featured Poet for September! Visit again on the next two Mondays for more of her work!

“Trish Hopkinson may describe herself as a ‘selfish poet,’ but her site is an indispensable community hub for poetry lovers, with news and event listings, writing resources, and much more (including her own poems, of course).”–WordPress Discover

For poetry and writing resources, no fee submission calls, editor interviews, and essays on craft, you can follow Trish Hopkinson’s blog via email or your favorite social media here:


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