I’ve been hearing Save the Rainforest
Since I was small enough to sleep
In the safety of my parent’s bed
Or snuggled with stuffed animals—
Pandas, giraffes, monkeys, frogs;
Since I lived for lullabies and storytime;
Since the world was as small as a crib
And as big as my imagination;
Since a nightlight could douse fears
And a drop of Tylenol could erase pain;
Since adults could assure me
That all was well and would always be well.
Now I hear that 20% of the Amazon is lost,
That the remainder is on fire,
That a tipping point may soon be passed—
All life in peril. (1)
Now I have a beloved wife, toddler, dog—
Great plans for our lives.
Now my parents are older, frailer.
Now, at thirty-four, I have traveled enough of life
To know that adults have always betrayed their children,
That absent drastic change I, too, will betray my child,
And that without a future for him
There can be no real joy or pleasure in the present.
(1) Fisher, Max. Aug 30, 2019. NY Times. ‘It’s Really Close’: How the Amazon Rainforest Could Self-Destruct <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/30/world/americas/amazon-rainforest-fires-climate.html>