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The Last Seed
by Judith Comer

“It’s not about what it is. It is about what it can become.” The Lorax

The Lorax left as all was dying
Wrote “Unless” as his warning
Only one seed left in humanity’s pocket
Let me help reverse this awful legacy
Climb off that last toppled tree
Climb down Profit Motive Hill
And onto the thirsty earth
And open wide the floodgates of mercy

Hold the seed of the Common Good
Up to the Light
Bear it high above the fray of self-interest
Higher than the bottom line
Higher than the litany:
“I want what I want when I want it!”

Plant that seed deep into the soil
Of this one universal truth
We are all Earthlings!
The destiny of our mother
Is in our hands.
It is in mine.

Let me join hands with all the children
Encircling our aging, suffering mother
Let us love her back to health
For her milk is our sustenance
And without her, we perish.

Our carbon footprint is
Crushing her lungs
Let me walk barefoot
Our desire for more and more
Is crippling her ability to provide
Let me crave less.

As our mother struggles to heal
Let me take only what I truly need
And share the rest with the world
Let me consume less for the good of all
That all my siblings have a chance at life
I will choose glass over plastic
Recycle and reuse
Eat vegetarian
Plant for pollinators
And trust such small efforts
Will multiply for good
Like loaves and fishes
I will give from my bounty
Until I know what it means to sacrifice
I will sign petitions, protest,
Write my Senators
Support policies that protect
The Earth—land, air, the seas
I will speak up even when it is not popular.
I will not be silent.

As I let go my sense of entitlement
My heart expands
My voracious stomach shrinks
I am truly free to love and be loved.
As our mother embraces me, rotating
Dancing among the stars.

I will grab hold of her green apron
Climb up that wide expanse
And find myself once again
In the bosom of a mighty forest
Will the Lorax return?
Will this dream come true?
Together we hold the last seed.
The healing is in our hands
The healing is in my hands
And it is powerful.

IMAGE: Cover for the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, originally published in 1971.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Being out in the natural world is life-giving to me and where I receive much spiritual sustenance, especially from the energy in trees. As the mother of four adult children and the grandmother of six youngsters, the future of our planet is very much on my mind and heart. I wrote this poem as the negotiations at COP26 were under way. My heart went out to Greta Thunberg and the other young activists who are trying to be heard above the clamor of competing political interests represented by delegations from all the participating nations. I was transported back to my bedtime reading of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss to my own young children, a time when I was first becoming aware of the looming environmental crisis.   wanted to write a poem to encourage Greta and her peers to continue to believe their dream can come true; that the power is in their hands; that they have more power than they know; and they are not alone.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Judith Comer worked as an educator of the gifted and talented, a speech/language pathologist, and a pre-kindergarten teacher before settling in her last career as an Episcopal priest. She is also a yogi and Reiki practitioner. Today, she dabbles in walking meditation, photography, and spiritual reflection. Judith’s walks along the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay on Alabama’s coast and on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee afford her the opportunity to be mindful and snap photos of those things that grab her attention. She then reflects on those images and writes poetry about her insights. Judith can be found on Facebook.