by Grace Nichols
One Quarter of ALL Mammals are on the verge of extinction;
The American Academy of Sciences said it a few years ago —
We couldn’t even get a headline
None had the time to hang a banner.
I used to think we could sue our way to salvation
Skin grafts on the surface of the mother.
Can you feel it? — the last ragged breaths of a truckload of loons,
felled by Botulism E, on the shores of the Great Lakes, in a world out of balance.
Can you see it? — the muddy refugee camps, the unstoppable epidemics.
We pronounce solemn words over the rushing waters of Saudia Arabia,
in areas which have only EVER had 1/4 inch of rain in January.
We are standing on a precipice at the edge of the world.
We hold in our bloody hands
raw human need:
Do I belong?
With whom to I go to which dance?
Who am I dancing with anyhow — drowning bodies, cholera in Haiti?
We are spitting in a high wind on the precipice at the edge of the world
While Actions Speak Louder.
Published in March/April 2013 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter