An Earth Day 2023 Poem by Tracey Rich

Ripping Up Paper

ripping up paper
perched over a bag of trash
tearing the flesh of trees
 feeling the shame of this thing

 torn to pieces
with fingers that feel the pain
of a fresh fell

innocent sheets
 that prophesized the miracles of men
gods made flesh

ripping up paper
to scatter tiny bits of data
bearing encoded marks
that represent life
tattooed upon trees pulpy skin

a velvety waste
 slipping between hands
 that would rather trace you
 hug you
breathe you in

paper bearing the weight of words
paper no longer a necessity of life
 a divine anticipation

a clean sheet
 a fresh canvass
ready for the scratching of a pen
or the pounding of keys
a lost art
a lost connection

a blank slate
 an origami crane
 a plane
soaring through a rowdy classroom

to waste you
mighty tree
is a shame

 ― Tracey Rich