Holding Breath

“The city of dust, the moment after” (Tarnel Abbott, watercolour)

while the world held its breath
on the cusp of nuclear annihilation
in these last weeks

I sat at the creek-side waiting for the rain

thinking on the catastrophe at hand
from the sky
missiles raining hot fire on the earth
on us, on all creatures
on trees, on creeks, on rivers, on seas
violating the planet
more deeply than the ring of fire ever could

I sat at the creek-side waiting for the rain
the rain that didn’t come

not enough water for hawk
wild cat

watching the trees die is hard

waiting for the rain
during the once in millennium drought
like waiting for the greedy to give it up
so the rest of us can live

watching, waiting, fighting still
while there is breath in the body
fighting for survival of the species

Tarnel Abbott, lifelong activist for social and environmental justice, walks and paints in the hidden wild spaces of the east shore of the San Francisco Bay accompanied by her dog, Ruby. Read other articles by Tarnel.