The Sun, The People, and Their Crimes
2018, Middle School, Poetry
oh my lovely cerulean girl
when you go to sleep at night
do you still rock back and forth,
like how you would if you stood ankle-deep in the sea?
i wonder if you even remember that, if you
remember sticking your toes into the once clean brown sand
years ago we laid on our backs and sighed until
the clouds parted and the men threw the plastic
over their shoulders and into the sun’s waiting mouth
and sometimes i wonder what you would do
if you ever looked! looked up and saw
the sun grinning a feral grin,
gaze boring hot into your hands and peeling the skin away
from your weary bones with the men’s shovels
the tide washes out again as the fish
bid you goodbye and the coral shut their eyes
my one and only, just yawn wide for a moment before the tide
brings in last night’s findings
then i’ll go hoping for your blue but will only find
your empty, lonely body
US Department of Commerce, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What Is a Dead Zone?” NOAA’s National Ocean Service. N.p., 01 Aug. 2014. Web. 18 June 2018. oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/deadzone.html.
“Causes of Climate Change.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 27 Dec. 2016. Web. 18 June 2018.
I like to think of this poem as a love letter to the ocean. It’s written from the perspective of the sea’s lover, lamenting what the ocean used to be. Ever since the Industrial Revolution we’ve begun adding carbon dioxide to the Earth’s atmosphere, thus increasing the greenhouse effect. Although sometimes people blame the sun itself for the heat and the atmosphere, it is also our own fault. In this poem I wanted to explore that - how two things could’ve led the ocean to its downfall, which I hope is clear in the title. I was inspired to write this after learning about dead zones, or hypoxia, which is basically a lowered amount of oxygen in the water. This causes mobile animals such as fish to leave, and the death of many immobile sea life. I think this poem incorporates these facts in a way that is impactful and thought-inducing. Because in the end, it’s what we do that’ll change our oceans.