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Lungs

by Richard Vince

We need the space to breathe now, so
We let nature wrap its arboreal fingers
Around what we no longer use.

At Millhouses and Mirfield, it is
The same story: where once the air
Was filled with soot, and every last
Molecule of oxygen was devoured by
Bellies of fire, the trees now stand silently,
Cleansing the air we sully in a different way.

At Stalybridge and Sowerby, the hills
Are obscured only by impending rain
As monuments to the age from which
They grew crumble slowly in their slumbers.

Ribbons of steel still shine and hum
With life, but they are fewer in number
Now, and the empty spaces left behind
Are beginning to disappear beneath
The vegetation that keeps us alive.

We need the space to breathe now, but
It was not always so: we did not
Always steal oxygen from one another
In our personal quests to get to
Where we do not need to be.

There is more that we can
Return to nature. We can do without
So many acres of tarmac and concrete, for
We need the space to breathe now.

10/08/2014

Posted on 10/29/2014
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 11/08/14 at 11:08 PM

An environmentalist's dream! It leaves the question as to how we can make life better without making it worse!

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