Poem- Listen


By Margaret Aitken


They wouldn’t listen.

Not to the creatures who dwindled,

homeless and lost.

Nor to winds that ripped up roots from the sodden ground.

No notice was taken of the crumbling cliffs,

of the houses collapsing into the sea.

Even the ocean, once saturated with life, became ghostly and grey.

But no one listened.

The sky thick with poison was lining every lung, coating every leaf

with toxic dust.

They risked losing everything and yet,

no one listened.

Until the day the world was brought to its knees by an invisible terror.

Something so small that spread like black mold on overripe fruit.

It cared not about status, or wealth, or kind-heartedness.

It cared not about inconvenience, or pain, or fairness.

It made kittens out of lions.

Vulnerable and powerless they cowered, isolated, survived,

and stopped.

The sky woke up from its septic sleep.

It gasped like a swimmer rising to the surface.

Creatures crept out of the shadows, roaming the land that was once theirs.

Oceans bloomed with thriving shoals of color,

the rivers once thick and putrid, ran clear.

The planet sighed,

crying tears of relief,

they finally listened, it said.

But had they?