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Listen to the Youth
by Elizabeth McCarthy

In Glasgow, Scotland
            the powerful discuss
recovery as the patient orbits the sun,
            its temperature rising
                        at every turn

as if Paris was enough to stop the burn

“empty promises — 30 years of blah, blah, blah”
                        will not cure what has been done

in time for children to live their lives
            on earth of green. Where freedom
                        ends in fires and floods, as futures
            wash away in the silty mud of greed.

Be the change you wish to see,
            each day the sun will rise and shine,
health is there in the light of day
            if we give up our fuel burning ways.

Silence the days of old, where gray haired
croakers prescribe greenwash on the windows of reality.

Listen to youth who march for truth.

*quotes are from Greta Thunberg, leader of the global movement to save our planet.

PHOTO: Greta Thunberg at the European Parliament on March 4, 2020.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I think one first has to recognize the diagnosis and prognosis for our planet before one can determine a treatment,  “How to Heal the Earth.” So, in this poem, I attempted to begin with where we are before addressing a prescription for health, which as suggested is in each of our hands as well as listening to those who speak the truth.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth McCarthy lives with her husband in an old farmhouse in northern Vermont, where they raised two children, several generations of free roaming hens, and made numerous attempts at keeping honey bees alive through cold winters and marauding bears. In 2018, she retired from teaching and turned to poetry in March 2020 when Covid closed down the world and time became a windfall.