In the Mirror
by Shelly Blankman

The earth is fragile — our destiny in danger. From the tallest redwood
to the tiniest bumblebee, the planet is on the precipice of perishing.

Oil spills that blacken once sparkling seas can be skimmed. Snow-white
seabirds matted in black can be washed if they survive human intrusion.
We can reuse and recycle plastic and replace plastic with paper to prevent
oceans from becoming floating trash bins that maim and kill creatures of the sea.

But unless humans nurse the world’s wounds as a surgeon would a broken
spine enough to support all of its working parts, we will not heal.

Our needs are not only about us. We are part of all that surrounds us. When
the earth’s wounds hemorrhage, oceans dry, trees rot, and animals die, we
all share their fate. Beauty alone is not enough to thrive. It needs our collective
brain to survive.

It’s time to look in the mirror and see our faces reflected in the shadow of the earth,
once a gift, now in all its dying glory.

PAINTING: Water Dreaming with Rain and Lightning by Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula (1972).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shelly Blankman lives in Columbia, Maryland, where she and her husband have filled their empty nest with three rescue cats and a moppy mutt. Their sons flew the coop some years ago — one to New York and the other to Texas.  Following careers in journalism, public relations, and copy editing, Shelly now spends time writing poetry, scrapbooking, and making cards. Her poetry has appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, Poetry Super Highway, and Praxis Magazine, among others.