Ode to Rachel

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Hotline, Summer 2003

Where are you Rachel?
Now when we especially need you?
I walk the streets of Springdale and I am very sad.
At one end of town
ugly yellow and white smoke stream into our air.
At the other end of town,
a red and white pillar pours out fumes,
smoke, loud, scary noises and
ashes that lay on our window sills,
furniture and cars.
I live in a town that refuses to recycle.
It is always too expensive,
it is too much
But who am I?
I am only one small voice.
I pick up the trash that people,
adults and children,
throw in our yard and on our streets.
I try to clean up a small part of my world.
I recycle cans and papers and glass though not through
efforts of this, our town.
My one small voice is lost on deaf ears.
You must have felt the same way.
Is it a hopeless struggle?
For every one person who does their part,
there are twenty who do not.
Twenty who make the current even harder to swim against.
If there were other voices,
maybe one could be heard.
But alone,
one voice is but a whisper on the wind.
It is a sigh and is gone.

This poem was written by Emily Kayser of Springdale, PA, who won second place in the upper elementary division of the Earth Week Poetry and Poster Contest sponsored by the Rachel Carson Homestead. The theme was “Rachel Carson’s Impact on the Allegheny Valley.”