• Kathy Cryan-Hicks

"The Trial" - A Poem

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

The Trial

The Earth has been sentenced To life behind bars The judge was the sun The jury - the stars.

“We find the defendant, The Earth, if you please, is guilty of murder In every degree.

Its lakes are polluted Its air is so bad Plant life is dying. It’s all very sad.

The trees in the forest Have all been chopped down. Birds that once lived there  are nowhere around.”

The judge bangs his gavel “The verdict is set” But then a voice shouts, “Wait. It’s not over yet.”

Then, enters a child An innocent face casting a shadow of doubt on this case.

He asks for release and mercy, as well. “Please do not sentence the Earth to this hell.

The Earth’s not to blame for the state that it’s in. It’s people – Earth’s people - who’ve committed the sin.

Before you say ‘guilty,’ before you place blame, look at the problems and how they all came.

We cannot continue sucking it dry Our Earth has its limits If we’re to survive.

Greed is a culprit Apathy too Please come together. Decide what to do.

Earth’s problems are many. I’ll surely admit, but it needs your help and your love –every bit.

It’s suffered enough.” Said the child to the court. “Instead of your verdict It needs your support.

Think of your children Think of theirs too your actions today    effect what they’ll do.

The judge stood surprised at the words of the child. The jury was stunned. Reporters went wild!

Cameras were flashing. Folks ran toward the door. “Order!” cried the judge. “Don’t run anymore.”

“Who is this child whose words ring so true? Tell me, child,” said the judge, “Who are you?”

The courtroom grew quiet There was not a word. As the small child responded, “I’m the voice never heard.

Regardless of verdict Regardless of blame We must take some action To end all this shame.

We have the solutions And most of the facts We just need to do it We just need to act!”

(I wrote this poem long before I ever learned of Greta Thunberg and her activism, but I am dedicating it to her and to other young climate activists to honor their determination and passion.)

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