It Flowed Within a Home We Call Earth
2021, Junior, Poetry & Spoken Word
An old, calloused hand reaches out
Into a stream that ancestors wielded during the formation of stars.
Swaying back and forth, listening.
Listening to the sound of
Fish with their families and the smooth pebbles
That touch each other, so lightly.
He takes off his worn leather shoes and cautiously
Steps into the lukewarm water.
A woman, with her newborn baby,
Washing him, singing to him, caring for him,
Within her family’s waters.
The sacred waters that provide responsibility and peace and home to her.
She lets her baby lie there,
By the river’s side.
She lets him stay as long as he wants,
Because someday, she knows that the river might be gone.
Ricky, the homeless man down the street
Often glances into the shattered mirrors that lay beside highway 75.
His eyes inflamed, mouth parched, feet shoeless.
I saw him once—looking.
It was the only time that he looked,
Because when he saw himself, his reflection,
His dehydrated, his thin, his deteriorated self
He cried, but the tears?
There were none that he could use.
But, when I look into the mirror, I see fresh skin and hydrated eyes.
When Ricky looks into the mirror, he sees a reflection
Of someone who, to him, is useless and brittle.
When the woman with her newborn baby looks into the mirror, she sees
A future; industrialization; a home surrounded by buildings.
When the old, calloused man looks into the mirror, he sees a dried river with fresh grass.
He sees the winter fade and the summer bloom.
He sees the subtle growth of dryness that sprouts like a weed on his hands.
He sees change.
Water is her provider, is his family, is my health.
Health that humanity has taken its time to slowly destroy
Into nothing but a smashed mirror; into small fractals that make up our so-called
‘beautiful Earth.’ Be that as it may be, someday, someone—
Perhaps that baby boy or Ricky or that old, calloused man—will piece the mirror back together.
Back together into a mirror that reflects our home, our past: Earth and water and life.
The chance to write about climate change's impact on water and the environment around us all sparked me to write something passionate yet encouraging. I poured out my utmost feelings into this piece and expressed positive and negative connotations that emotionally affected me, and hopefully others. I wish that when people read this, they understand that we all have a completely different perspective on the world around us; however, we all rely on something that is slowly slipping from our grasp. Throughout my experience of writing this piece, I learned that without water, we wouldn't ever be able to have... all of this. To sustain and conserve this vital resource, I will always remain aware and do what I can to make the world a better place. Without new generations to take action, nothing will ever become of the future.