river of tears

maybe when the water runs out,
we will weep so many tears that the rivers will fill again.
maybe after the last tree falls,
our hearts will break, we’ll come down to our knees, and kiss the earth we have denied.
in death, we finally lay belly to belly with the mother who birthed us.
but maybe, as climate changes, ice melts, and people cough,
we will die before we die.
we will see that digging for oil causes people to kill.
that staying in a room with an air filter only works as long as trees still breathe.
and that our relatives – the hawks, the elk, the fish – have been dying all along.
maybe, as we fall to the earth, we will finally have the funerals of those we have denied losing.
in grief, we will have to reach out and admit to the humility of not knowing.
maybe, we have gone too far to ever return.
it is not climate change.
the climate has changed.
people are leaving their homes, walking into others’,
unwelcome and threatened.
we share this world, we share this world.
i stare out my window feeling so far from the ancient icebergs melting in greenland.
that distance won’t last for much longer.

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