What is essential to me
Might seem frivolous to you.
Hours spent playing with a child
Or caring for an elder are essential.
Play, touch, love are things
People need to live.
Fracking is nonessential
Injecting chemicals to break the Earth
Causing cancer, polluting streams,
Cooking the world with gas
Do we really need that?
Yet gas companies keep doing it.
COVID doesn’t stop them.
Seeds and gardens are essential
Planting new life, growing food
When I go by a community garden,
Closed as nonessential,
I wonder, do they even
know where life comes from?
How essential is stuff?
The latest phone, faster computers
Are they worth dying for?
Yet people die to produce them,
Fight to buy them
Evaluate their lives by their possessions.
Are missiles essential? Are warplanes?
IDK, but their production continues
While workers fall ill with COVID.
Bombing must go on. Sanctions
Must be enforced. Regimes must
Be overthrown. People must
Go without medicine.
I try to understand
What essential means.
Food, clothing, shelter
Support, connection, purpose
Freedom, creativity are essential to me.
For others, maybe it’s profit.
Maybe it’s power.
Maybe one person’s essential
Is another person’s death.
Disease doesn’t allow for greed.
If we listen, it will teach us humility.
What if we did what was essential:
Fed people, housed them, Cared for
Animals and plants, water and land?
Created joy and beauty
And let the rest go?