Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Seeding Compassion

The cold air greets me like an arctic gale,
hurriedly I pull on my sweater,
smirking at the cyclists outside
sweltering in the tropical heat.
Community service
is hard work;
To think we spent two whole hours
planting nothing but trees.

As I snuggle into the soft bus chairs,
the small black box flickers
importing scenes from overseas:
a news reports, monotone,
about the hundreds of seeds sown via air
in an attempt reforest the jungles-

Disaster strikes!
Sudden flood claims the lives of two hundred people!

I pull out my labtop, and in a manner of minutes
type out a post on my blog
lamenting their deaths:
Such a horrible thing
isn't it? We'd send aid of course, seeing as
it didn't happen here;
Perhaps we could plant some trees?

Newsflash over, the screen resumes
the constant complaints of a hundred environmentalists:
"For every hundred trees they chop
a thousand seeds are sown
yet less than ten of those survive..."
Yada, yada, never satisfied.

The stop arrives, and in stepping off-
A sudden stench!
I back away
at the smell from the old woman's rags
as she potters along
her shopping bag filled
with half-eaten discards from the nearby bin.
God, doesn't she ever take a bath?

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