National Poetry Month: Day 22

Earth Day

by Jan Carroll


I don’t think I can write
a poem about Earth this morning.
The birds are singing a song
called “Resilience,” the snow, piled so high
after a record-breaking winter,
is melting into cheerful streams.

I don’t think I can read
the article I bookmarked
titled, “Climate Change Is Bad
but This Is Worse.” Instead
I’m holding in my heart
the photo of the Swedish teen, Greta
Thunberg, who, after bravely stating the truth
before world leaders
is smiling into Jane Goodall’s eyes,
and Jane Goodall, after everything
she’s seen, after all the data she’s gathered,
the speeches she’s made, the pleas,
is smiling back at her
like a proud mother.

I don’t think I can add up
my carbon footprint today.
But I’ll walk to worship
over the swollen river, remembering
the trees that were my friends
cut down for development, and later,
home again, I’ll take out my basket
of garden seeds and on the back
of a no-longer-needed paper,
I’ll sketch out some kind of plan.


Jan Carroll’s work has appeared in Borderlands, California Quarterly, Cider Press Review, Avatar Review, and other places. She works in publishing and alternative healthcare and is a dog person who likes museums, nature, thrift shops, artsy films, live music, and anything that makes me laugh out loud.

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