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Oil Spill on Beach 50.jpg

The Spill

Black Death

Dolly Haik-Adams Berthelot

Dr. Dolly Berthelot is a veteran writer, editor and writing coach published internationally in magazines, newspapers and books. The former newspaper editor and writing professor is a communication consultant to Fortune 500 firms, organizations and private clients, including other writers and educators. Her focuses on life stories, histories and memoirs. She is author of Pioneer Spirit 76--Smoky Mountain Area BicenTENNial Anthology; PERFECTLY SQUARE--A Fantasy Fable for All Ages; and Taking Control--Creek Roots, Airman Wings, Family Heart.

Black Death

Gushes from wounded earth,

Slaughters our fish and fowl,

Our eco-system, our natural beauty,

Threatens our economy, our property values,

Our very way of life.

Silently sabotages our serenity,

Our security, our health.

Viscous, vicious,

Oil spreads through precious waterways

Like a vile marauding cancer that nothing will stop.

As when the promise of chemo and radiation fail,

Hopes rise, plummet, rise, plummet.

We rant, we rail, we tremble,

We weep, we plead, we pray.

We know it’s coming here,

Long before it hits, we know.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida.

Colon, liver, lungs, brain.

Relentlessly it spreads,

Inevitably it arrives.

And yet, the reality shocks.

When TV news suddenly shows black gunk

Flung across sugary Pensacola Beach,

I burst into tears,

Explode like Deepwater Horizon.

Explode, just as when Mama died,

After a long struggle to survive.

The mind knows,

Yet the heart is never ready

For such loss.

And, “I told you so” offers no solace.

All we can do is savor

The beauty that remains.

Cherish with deeper appreciation.

Spend quality time before it’s too late.

In the places where oil isn’t visible,

Aren’t the colors especially bright?

Isn’t Beauty even more so

With its moments so marked?

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