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Can I ask you something?

It’s been on my mind lately…

By Ryan BurkeyPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 1 min read

Earth:

“Why do you hurt me?”

—————

Man:

“What do you mean?”

—————

Earth:

“I mean…

Why do you clear-cut vast swaths of my bustling woodlands?

Pave over miles of my lush landscapes and cover them with ashen asphalt?

Cut into my earthen skin and carve out precious stones from my quarries?

Litter my deep-blue oceans with endless miles of undying rubbish?

Choke my cornflower skies with plumes and fumes of toxic smoke and smog?

And sully my crystal-clear rivers with detergents and unnatural impurities?

Why do you do these things?”

—————

Man:

“Well, it’s because of the economy. And population growth, I guess. And progress.

It’s not intentional!

It’s just how it has to be.

Really, it’s nothing personal.”

—————

Earth:

“It feels personal.”

—————

Man:

“You’re just being overly sensitive!”

—————

Earth:

“Yes, I am sensitive.

My very nature — and all the creatures and mechanisms of life it so delicately holds and sustains — are, indeed, sensitive to your slightest harms and degradations.

But yes, I suppose I’m over-reacting.

Forgive me for being so hysterical.”

—————

Man:

“You’re forgiven.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to work!

There are bulldozers slated to clear hillsides bare,

Steamrollers set to patch new roads through untouched terrain,

Drills that must extract glowing gems out of dark caverns,

Tons of refuse to be transported to landfills and/or to floating, tidal encampments,

Planes, trains and autos that must criss-cross continents,

And miles of metallic pipes that shall snake underground, re-routing precious waters to the metros and mega-projects of the future.

Progress, growth, the economy…they never stop!”

—————

Earth:

“Don’t I know it…”

—————

sad poetrysocial commentarynature poetry

About the Creator

Ryan Burkey

PNW native. Government analyst by day and a writer, song-writer and musician by night. Writing topics include nature, faith, relationships, and social commentary. Hobbies are traveling, coffee shop vibes, food, and comedy.

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Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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