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.
This poem is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: RADICAL HOPE.
Off prompt, but also shared with Day 7 at napowrimo.net.