All Is Not Lost

All Is Not Lost

Three candy wrappers.
One crushed water bottle.
I empty my pockets of
souvenirs collected on the trail.

The same two weeks later,
when I return to walk
the two-mile, winding trail
in this hundred acre preserve.

I’m not the only one. Crews
of workers are always present,
maintaining this showcase
in the state capital.

Driving to buy groceries, I follow
a pickup and watch the driver
rolling coal as he cuts off a compact car.
A plastic bag blows across the street.

I pull into the store parking lot,
eye a space as a car backs out.
Pulling away, the driver drops
a cigarette butt from her window.

I watch a teen kick a water bottle
in his path. Just one more part of
the problem, I think, until he picks it up
and drops it into the can at the entrance.

Rolling coal – Some diesel pickup owners deliberately accelerate
to dump black smoke from their exhausts.

This poem is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: RADICAL HOPE.

Off prompt, but also shared with Day 7 at


8 thoughts on “All Is Not Lost

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