The following poem was written by Pelham Memorial High School 10th grader Rachel Brewer for her English Honors class and read by Rachel at the Pelham March for America on Mar. 5, 2017.
It Falls on Deaf Ears
By Rachel Brewer
You poison her blood, dig into her flesh
Tear her hair, slash her skin.
You’ve put a bounty on her bounty,
Drilled and dumped and fracked and dug.
She’s given warning after warning,
Her blood is boiling and her skin is burning,
Her breath is hot and her eyes are aflame.
Eve bites back.
40 foot waves, islands disappearing
Mountains spitting fire and continents trembling.
You’re waist deep in waste,
Deep and deeper wells, well
It’s not the end of the world! You say
And she answers you, cackling in delirium: But it is.
When the oceans are up to your eyeballs,
And the carbon is blackening your mouth,
Maybe then you will be able to hear her.
In my poem I covered the issue of environmental damage caused by humans. I find it completely nonsensical that we are so consciously and continuously destroying our home planet. Exponentially increased human activity in the past 50 years or so has had an unimaginably large effect on the environment, and not only in regards to global warming: decreased biodiversity, rising ocean levels, changes in oceanic pH, changes in weather patterns, erosion, water and air pollution, carcinogenic chemical exposure, deforestation — there is an endless laundry list of the problems human activity have caused. Unfortunately, not only is this issue low priority in the minds of many Americans, but some do not even believe an issue exists. My goal with this poem was to force my reader to think about and recognize the damage human activities do to the planet, how they contribute to these problems, and how the destruction of our planet might affect them. Fear is often a catalyst for change, and this quality can be used rightly or wrongly. I hope to capture it in a positive and constructive manner because when it comes to environmental problems of the 21st century, frankly, there is much to fear.