Are Your Words Empty, Or Am I Hollow?

by Alice Brooker

You needn’t worry
Mother places her mantra in the palm
Of my hand and presses reassurance.
Then she lets go.
Her words slip through my fingers like
Water.
And I can’t be wasting water.

Temperatures surge to 25°C
It is April and we’re burning.
Run inside and switch the lights
Out, plugs off, silence.
They say I’d feel better for going
Outside.
But it’s April and we’re burning.

Schools Celebrate Earth Hour
Classes cease draining electrics.
Teachers bottle up hope to hand out
On recycled paper. We write over
Printed ink what we’d like to change;
The hour passes.
If we don’t want to keep our ideas we
May place them in only green bins.

Don’t waste
It was a busy morning and left
Unwashed was reusable Tupperware.
The price is paid unpacking a
Sandwich wrapped in cling-film.
Wildly emerging is a hundred
Scornful looks.
To eat or not to eat.

Stay in Education
It’s a Friday and my voice aches.
Travelling by bus, backpack and
A brutal call for action.
We march down branded roads
Among rumbling that almost
Feels as loud as change.
But below surface thoughts emerge,
Of exhausted landscapes…

What if Earth wants my
Silence instead?