Friday, April 11, 2008

What we do with our spare time

The kid is so like his mama
so unlike, too, with his green-brown eyes
fair salamander skin, open face
and inarguable maleness

but so like his mama

this kid finished his work
finished his homeschool for the year last night-
two hours gone by and pencil blunted-
while his sister and mama made cupcakes

celebration cupcakes
to honour the day
the work was done at last

to celebrate the end of evenings of arguing
sweating, crying over modules required
catch-up to be done before we could play

time for a festival of freedom!

Then- work done, he decorated a cupcake
for his sister, only for his sister
and sat down at the computer to type

Yes, to type. It’s time to get to work
he said.
All evening he typed
and typed
a letter to the paper, a letter
about why the city should
leave the woods alone

why the woods are special
why the woods should not be
knocked down

all evening, one-finger typing, learning about
red and green wavy lines
and how to make them go away

but if only it was so simple to send away
the bulldozers
or build traps for them, the barricades
he has dreamed of, clear plastic fencing
creating a protective bubble around this home
for friendly squirrels

When the machines bring destruction
this summer, as surely they will
I hope for
this child who is so like his mama,
I hope that
unlike his mama's,
this kid’s resolve
is
not
crushed
by the utter inability of the adults
in charge
to hear a word
a single word said by a child


Rachel Westfall
April 11, 2008

5 comments:

Kyddryn said...

Wouldn't it be brilliant if he could stand before the town council and tell them "Those woods don't belong to you, they belong to me and my generation, and you have no right to steal them from us, future-thieves, uncaring, unseeing, unfeeling robbers of my tomorrow" and be heard? Really, truly heard?

If they must tear something down, why can't it be their own homes? Oh, wait, that's right...wildlife doesn't pay taxes so it doesn't matter.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

RachelW said...

If only they would listen....

Mike Gieco said...

"We reap what we sow"! There are No exceptions. NO exceptions! Hear that?
Humans and the seed of destruction.
Creatures and their world just don't matter to some humans. Non-human life are killed when they get in our way-they have nowhere else to go-nowhere else to grow. Time and habitat are running out for our fellow creatures. Thus time and habitat are running out for the human animal. There are NO exceptions.
"We reap what we sow".

RachelW said...

If only I hadn't last heard that metaphor from gerry... ;)

There is always hope as long as people are willing to speak out, to stand up against greed.

RachelW said...

The city has announced that they still plan to knock down Takhini Woods, despite opposition. The kids will be circulating a petition, getting signatures at the school (they already have a number of signatures from the neighbourhood). I truly hope the city can open their ears to hear these children, who aren't afraid to stand up for what they care about.