This is where the waves once crashed,
the turquoise tide lapping over my bare feet;
cool, as it often was during early-morning hours
when the night was ending
and a new day had just begun.
This is where the gulls once flew;
some alone, some accompanied by others,
but all one species coexisting in the same
world; divided not by race nor gender
but the speed in which they traveled
through the golden sky.
This is where a mother turtle once led her young
from land to sea, while intrigued bystanders paused
to lend a helping hand. Time stood still;
our self-serving problems no longer pertinent,
so long as her endeavor was safe.
This is where the dolphins once dove,
their sleek bodies as graceful as wind
ruffling through palm leaves and as tranquil as
nightly walks guided by a lighthouse’s beacon.
This is where the minnows once swam,
narrowly escaping a small boy’s fishing net
as he attempted to catch them.
This is where a barge once overturned,
polluting the water with jet-black oil
that ruptured the lungs of the aquatic animals
who once swam peacefully, free of harm.
Innocent species are repeatedly imperiled
by existential forces we continue to overlook.
Universal change must transpire soon
for there is nowhere else but here
and there is no time else but now.