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2020-12-10T19:56:03-05:00December 13th, 2020|Nature|

The small heroes keeping us alive

I only just learned
there are invisible forests of you
that sway at the top of the ocean
like a crowd at a rock concert.

I thought you were just whale food
but you do the same quiet work as trees,
steadily drinking up sunlight
to make oxygen for us.

You tuck away the carbon too,
in your tiny bodies
until you die,
taking it safely down with you
to your graves at the bottom of the sea.

When the scientist on the radio
said algae do the same work
to control our climate
as all the trees combined,
I nearly wept
for how the smallest heroes
go unnoticed.

I would thank you
but you don’t want my gratitude.

You just want me to lift
the plastic that floats
like a giant stain
on the ceiling of your world,
blocking the sun.

So I will do my part,
I promise,
and I offer this poem
so that my words
can bend time faster
and people will see
that these islands of plastic
are suffocating us
and we must rip them off
the surface of the sea
with the same panic
that we would
if they were pressed tight
against our face.

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