Massive blows to the environment,
like Chernobyl,
like Exxon Valdez,
like Love Canal,
are nothing.

Shrinkage is the true disaster,
the constant chip, chip, chipping,
that turns nature into pavement.

We move a rock,
we cut down a tree,
we blast a boulder,
we destroy a flower.

We do this a dozen times,
we do this a hundred times,
we do this a thousand times,
and an ecosystem disappears.

We fight the big projects,
the pipelines,
the oil rigs,
the gold mines,
but these are not the problem.

Each time we,
put in a sidewalk,
dig a ditch,
drill a well,
miniscule changes become permanent scars.

Small intrusions,
disturb,
blemish,
mutilate,
and can never be reversed.

Give as much thought to,
putting in a sprinkler system,
as building a dam,
of weeding the lawn,
as harvesting a forest
of digging a post hole,
as strip mining a mountain.

Shrinkage
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