By Todd Osborne
When the thousand year floods became annual
and the Pacific birthed a hurricane to hang
over California for a day or two, when the heat
wave became a season, and no one
in power said anything about it because
what could they say? I stayed inside, counted
the consecutive days over 100 degrees, days with
nothing but humidity to cool us, cried about nothing,
for no reason. Why are you so mad today? asked
my students, and I said nothing. No words
for all these no-responses. I taught them
what I could: this world is still ours for as long
as it will have us. Doing nothing is a choice. Choose
to reach a hand; in all this nothing, make some kind of stand.
Todd Osborne is a poet and educator originally from Nashville, TN. His debut poetry collection, Gatherer, will be published by Belle Point Press in Spring 2024. His poems have previously appeared at The Missouri Review, Tar River Poetry, Cutbank, and EcoTheo Poetry Review. He is a feedback editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal and a reader for Memorious. He lives and writes in Hattiesburg, MS, with his wife and their three cats: Patrina, Gwen, and Pizza Roll.