A Forest Apologizes to Children as the World Heats Up

166 total words    

1 minutes of reading

You walked in my body

not so long ago, stood

against my veins of trees

and watched me breathe water.

You believed you were sunlight

swinging in my branches

and compared yourself to air.

The Black-eyed Susan drooped

in pain when you pinched off

her petals and sang Love Me,

Love Me Not, hoping some human

might offer you more than me

and my scarce promises made

of rain and breath and shade.

When you lost the enchantment

that dwelled in you as quiet

as turtles, you left to live in silence

and seriousness. Now, it looks like

you should’ve spoken up for me,

and I’m sorry I taught you my stillness.

Looks like the last leaves are

falling and the birds are gone.

My creek you swam in, where

wild strawberries grew,

ran dry through what became

the endless summers of your absence.

In these years, when so much snow

became rain, I’m sorry that,

even in this heat, you hardened

into years of cold weather.

  • Lisa Couturier

    Lisa Couturier is the author of The Hopes of Snakes (Beacon) and Animals / Bodies (Finishing Line). A 2012 Pushcart Prize winner in the essay category, she is a notable essayist in Best American Essays, 2004, 2006, 2011. Find more at lisacouturier.com 

Scroll to Top