A poem by Rachel Lanman
When the forest burns, so does it’s mysteries. The cool dark places where deer hide, now too hot and exposed. The smell of sweet pine replaced with the acrid scent of rot and ash. It gets stuck in your nose and lungs. Green to black, life to death.
When 500,000 acres burns, it’s not just death, it’s annihilation. With whole generations of bear, deer and birds unable to escape, succumbing to smoke and heat. A collective and final exhalation of breath. Sound to silence, life to death.
More than a tragedy of nature, this is ecocide. An outcome fueled by greed. The first people of this land warned us. Soot in my lungs, blood on my hands.
Who killed the earth? The black bear, clutching her children as she runs from her home? The ancient cedar, succumbing to fire? The bird, whose song is missing from the blackened forest?
Who killed the earth?
It is our children and their children who inherit this calamity. Futures stolen, mysteries burned.