This whole city now smells like gasoline.
No one knows why, and that’s obscene.
Officials are investigating the scene.
We’re all struck without a warning.
Now we wait, sheltering in places,
unable to ventilate our cozy spaces,
donning air masks on our faces.
Praying for better, the human race is.
Its source is a still a mystery,
a new air quality emergency,
perhaps, it’s a refinery or spill at sea,
leaving us all so sore to breathe.
Just last week we gathered at city hall,
clad in masks in support of cleaner air
against industry that might not care.
Is this a taste of what we shall bear?
Meanwhile right down the road
our fellow city lightened its load
by refusing oil trains near their abodes.
This is the true cost of industry
when we choose unclean energy.
Our old ways will not set us free.
We must find the path to breathing easy.
I passed time during the quarantine
listening to bluegrass kings and queens,
dreaming of the peaceful mountain scenes
that left me awestruck this morning.
I listen to voices cracking jokes at the danger,
others still are speaking out in anger,
but all we can really do is wait here
until we hear that it’s all clear.