Poem: The Butterfly’s Tornado

Like many,
it didn’t know it could stir up a storm
just by going about its daily life.
Then the tornados came
to new places
and where rain had once poured
the land cracked open, and wildfires burned.
Like many,
it thought the power belonged
to some other being.
The coral reefs paled and crumbled
the starfish washed up like dirty dishes
and the walruses and polar bears
stood on smaller and smaller shores.
The butterfly kept going
about its business,
while mosquitoes in stagnant pools
bred a new disease,
mudslides reshaped the land,
and the glaciers creaked and melted
into oceans floating full
of garbage and sick fish.
Like many,
it didn’t realize it had a choice
about how to use its wings
until it was too late.