Nov 09
poem challenge: Urgency

Our future of death

I look down at my feet,
To the tracks trailing behind me,
Carbon footprints.
In them, sprout words,
Growing out like the over pollen-filled plants:

Like the animals,
Caught in nets in the sea,
Shot by guns in the woods,
Trapped in the cages,
To be held on display.
Can't they be left alone?
They're dying just like us.
Why speed up the process?

Melting the icecaps,
Draining our lakes,
Heating the world till everything's ash.
Why can't we stop the temperature from rising?

Millions of animals placed under the words,
Most because of humans,
Killing and trapping and eating and abandoning.
How many animals have to die to fulfill our needs?

Filling the seas like stars,
Trapping the fish and sucking the air from their lungs,
Stuffed to the brim in landfills,
Littered all over the once grassy fields,
Now concrete,
Since you don't want grass stains on your shoes?

Changing drastically,
Billions of dollars in damage,
Billions of people who will never get to see the sun again.
How many people have to die?

Millions dead from COVID.
Why can't you realize this is happening?

Burning bright in California, Australia, Canada, and more,
Killing animals, people, and plants,
Emitting carbon that's getting trapped in our atmosphere,
Burning people we know to a crisp.
How many flames will it take?

Cutting down trees
To aesthetically please,
For paper and cupboards and walls and drawers.
How are you going to take your next breath?

Why can't you put your differences aside,
No matter who you voted for,
No matter your sex,
No matter your race,
No matter your religion,
No matter who you love?
We're destroying our planet.
It's all we have left.
Step up to the plate.
Make a difference,
And make one now.
We have mere years to save ourselves,
And yet we keep shoving the responsibility onto the new generation.
"They can handle it."
"They can fix it."
"They'll protect us."

But why? 
Why should we take this weight on our shoulders?
Why should we save you,
When all you do is pollute, and shoot, and trap, and loot?
Imagine if we passed it on
To the little ones,
My sisters,
Your kids.
Imagine giving Gen Alpha these big responsibilities
When they don't know how to fix it either.
But now it's our job to fix the unfixable for a better future,
For our kids who come after us,
To right the wrongs caused by our ancestors,
To retaliate against the elements themselves,
As if we're gods,
But we're not.
We're kids,
Yet we have all the weight you couldn't carry.

Our backs are breaking.
But from the cracks,
We rise.
With each youth's name,
We rise.
From every poem and protest and pronunciamento we set,
We rise
Like a phoenix from the ash,
Like the steaming water from the oceans we pollute,
Like the grass through the gaps in the sidewalk,
Like Amanda Gorman,
Like Greta Thunberg,
Like Malala Yousafzai.
We will save the planet,
And we will do it as soon as possible.
This is our fault –
And we will fix it
Starting now.