Graves of Changing Skies

She holds the grief of changing in her body.

Familiar with stretching,

Accustomed to some swelling.

A woman seared by sorrow knows every fight for life leaves scars.

Bones like hers hold a future pain,

A cracking not yet felt.

They’re frantic for their freedom

But this war has chains for all.

The wind picks up when the time draws near,

Blowing warnings through her hair.

This sister is prepared to fight,

She knows what cracking’s like.

So she gives her back as a battlefield

To carry those who’ll die.

She staggers with the weight of it

As the great changing it draws near.

First her wrinkles crack like fault lines

And stretch marks stretch too thin.

The seas they rise, the trees go still,

Thirsty fields start to dry.

Cities sink while wind roars on,

It blows the haze across her eyes.

Futures stolen, treaties broken,

Giants turn to smoke.

When finally the pressure mounts

Pushing at her ribs

The waters part, the levies break,

Blood pours and floods her thighs.

She counts those lost to changing on her fingers

While they wash on out to sea.

One by one she names them

As they’re buried in her spine.

Now her belly fills with ashes

In wartime piled high.

If you reach inside you’ll feel them

Our bodies hold the graves of changing skies.

This piece is about the bolidy experience of grief caused by climate change. Such a massive crisis and its impacts are hard to comprehend or to truly internalize, even for people who experience its effects or work to combat it everyday. For me it has often felt physical painful when I actually let myself feel the horror of it.

The climate crisis brings with it a level of pain, suffering, and widespread destruction on a scale unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. This piece speaks to the unique relationship that women have with life-giving, changing bodies, and death.

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