Who Will Tell Them?

It turns out you can kill the earth,
Crack it open like an egg.
It turns out you can murder the sea,
Poison your own children
Without even thinking about it.

Goodbye passenger pigeon, once
So numerous men threw nets over trees
And fed you to pigs. Goodbye
Cuckoo bird who lays eggs
In the nests of strangers.

Goodbye elephant bird
Who frightened Sinbad.
Goodbye wigeon,
Curleau, lapwing, crake.
Goodbye mascarene coot.
Sorry we never had a chance to meet.

Who knew you could wipe out
Everything? Who knew
You could crack the earth open
Like an egg? Who knew
The endless ocean
Was so small?

Right now, there are children playing on the shore.
There are children lying in hospital beds.
There are children trusting us.
Who will tell them what we’ve done?

Photo by Chanan Greenblatt on Unsplash


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