How many stories have been told?
Imagine one for everything that has ever been made–
one for every empire that stood strong,
and one for every piece of dust it eventually crumbled to.
Imagine the number nestled deep
within each living creature’s mind–
hundreds and thousands of treasures
for each one-in-a-million being.

Then ask yourself,
how many of those stories
have been listened to?
Our only records of how we’ve gotten
to where we are,
these intangible ideas 
more valuable than all material objects put together,
that we tune out,
treat as background noise–
the soundtrack to more important things.

And how many of those stories
have been forgotten?
Lost forever to wherever abandoned ideas go,
with all the other words 
that didn’t take root deep enough 
in the minds of tomorrow.
Too much history has been lost,
erased simply by ignorance–
the most destructive weapon of all.

And still, how many stories are left unsaid?
Never given the chance to be remembered,
kept under lock and key
by twisted tongues and sealed lips
until death takes them
along with their keeper.
Can they be considered “erased”
if they were never written down to begin with?

Each person is their own history book,
with the responsibility
to share their stories and receive others.
The question remains–
how many stories are there,
but if things were different
how many more could there be?