Oil Spill Disaster 

The people came out onto the streets and prayed each season,

for as the priest and the fisherman said,

They’re with us always, so we should come and pray again.

The long ceremony goes on though it took place weeks ago.

And still, they come and pray.

For tens of decades, they’ve talked and prayed.

For years, they’ve known the days were numbered.

They thought they saw the consequences

of their inaction.

There’ll be more damage before this siege is done,

they said.

They’d always said to serve and protect

So they believed they deserved to know the answer why.

But time and again, the path seemed blocked.

There was a swift, wide-ranging mobilisation,

five and a half million feet of boom had been laid

across the water.

Legions of cops in riot gear deployed across the cities.

But now it’s very clear that the problem here

runs much, much deeper—it was more

than a single event that does its damage

in a matter of minutes, months, or days—

Billions of gallons of black crude

had been spilled in the soil and water

like a hidden, yet swiftly moving black pandemic

spewed leagues deep in soil and water—

deep, deep beneath the surface,

and drilling underground.

– from A MORE PERFECT UNION: A SERIAL POEM (forthcoming)

Leave a Comment