by Leigh-Anne Burley
Don’t think of me as your mother rocking on a veranda admiring my handiwork from a distance I am ever-present My breastplate and helmet glisten in sister sun as I war against your toxic waste dumpsites mingling with my pristine, healing waters feel my salty tears keening over still-born in murky waters Groanings birth pain pain births rage as my tender ones suffocate in your thoughtless wildfires and droughts For too long I’ve allowed your gaze to caress my rainbow waterfalls climb my mountain breasts admire my glacier lakes Your familiarity is tiresome as if I were your friend I am not to those who darken my azure sky with soot cause my mighty beasts to disappear from my sight Neither am I your permissive mother consoling and rewarding you while looking the other way as you hack my forests scatter my young ones deprived of food and shade Heed your poets and prophets ice flows and shriveled rivers chisel their messages on tablets of stone My fury spills out on your reckless ways my head splits open upon your disregard my body heaves against your disrespect all of my nature rises against your cold indifference With a wave of my hand I will sweep away your self-centered immediacy and greed I was verdant and fecund long before you were the glint in the Creator’s eye Return to your roots, man become again the steward gardener in our paradise
Leigh-Anne Burley was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and resides in Virginia with her husband of 42 years She has three children and six grandchildren. Leigh-Anne has a BA in English and MA in Pastoral Counseling. She is published in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Leigh-Anne enjoys walking and hiking in nature, reading and writing.