My Cry

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

Postage stamps

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