tools at hand
by Peggy Morrison
It seems like the beginning of the end of the world heart heavy with spooky darkness forests consumed by orange flames massive plumes of smoke rising weary, dirty firefighters risking their lives Climate change, arson, and capitalist greed lacerate beauty– The world is painfully changing trapped in a house in a city surrounded by unhealthy air separated from human contact I hold on by a thread, see my friend's 2D face hear her virtual voice; It seems like the beginning of the end of the world, but I can't believe it. Like apocalypse from the bible Road Warrior, The Handmaid's Tale, Parable of the Sower in California everything is burning the water runs out in Florida and Alabama tornadoes and floods internet and cell phones down the police against the people It is the time when the most vicious dominate when the gentle and tender are hidden; The pandemic was eery because it was renowned to be an invisible killer it could be everywhere and anywhere It made us anxious we stayed away from each other, I was afraid of people. The scariest time was when we couldn't breathe the air The sky was black with smoke some days orange like a solar eclipse other days. I hid inside the house looking at the ominous cloud of ash settling outside the windows. It seemed like the beginning of the end of the world, but I didn't believe it, to me it feels like we are surviving to me it feels like we'll adapt rise up together. I visualize the red fir forest, old growth I walked through in those same mountains last month deep green, moist and venerable I'm raising a garden I harvest each meal. We use the tools at hand to survive We adapt connect through video chat I wash the ash off the vegetables with real water coming out of the hose. It's climate change but it's not the end of the world. It's not the apocalypse, I see the searing blaze swirl around me I want to move but I am waiting If my shoulders were stronger, more graceful I could fly If my legs were stronger, more svelte I could run– I thought about moving to a different country with a better president or a different state with better weather I haven't left yet I'm still home.