Legacy of Imbalance

I’m a child of climate chaos, bred to breathe poison.

The babes of my generation wailed their way into the world missing pieces—eyes, intestines, trust… Those who came before us lusted after fossil fuel and didn’t love trees enough.

We paid for our forebears’ imbalance in disease and desolation.

Please, don’t take me for a techno-hater. I’m quite attached to my cyber-limbs. Without well-lubed metal, walking and typing and… claiming the coolest vintage oilcan collection west of The Floods would’ve been just a dream for me.

Still, I would’ve loved a leaf collection. The archives say they were lovely.


inspired by this image
photographed by Nick Allen

lingering post-chemo emotions
and this song


– for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. To see what other stories were poured out of these cans (see photo), follow this link.
– linked to Poets United.


101 thoughts on “Legacy of Imbalance”

  1. Such a poignant last line. So true that we don’t love trees enough, or the creatures that rely on them for their survival. Great post.

  2. Oh, I LOVE this! ♥ ♥ ♥

    It’s all so sad! And so frustrating! Kids across Australia are walking out of school tomorrow to protest our climate change denying government. Our Prime Minister said, “Schools are for learning not for activism.” And as one of the child spokespeople retorted, “If we destroy the planet, there won’t be any schools!”

    As Marc Bolan of T. Rex sang:

    “No, you won’t fool the children of the revolution
    No way!”

  3. I don’t understand the words, but totally felt the emotions in the video …..and you know you just created a new character we need to know more about right? XXX

  4. First: let me say the video is outstanding. Seeing the children with the breathing mask targets the issue right on. Thanks for adding it.
    You story doesn’t seem that far fetched anymore. We’re destroying so much everyday. I can’t imagine no leaves or trees or oceans or anything that Mother Nature has given us. Sadly, I think your story could come true. An eye opening write …
    Isadora 😎

    • I’m not sure how many times I’ve listened to this song or what the video… It hits me so hard every time. The part where the child hints at touching the polluted water, when he goes in it, his desperation… dear goodness, such heart-ripping sorrow. I hope we become a bit less blind before things get worse, but… I sort of doubt it. As you say, we keep on hurting The One that shelters and feeds us without paying attention at the fact that we are killing ourselves.

      Thank you so much for reading, Isadora.

  5. Dear Magaly,

    ¿Dónde jugarán los niños? is a good question. Where indeed. Having said that. I read your story twice. I could go on and on, but to write a lengthy comment, but it would only detract from the magnificence of your evocative and hard hitting story. Brava!

    Shalom y cariño,


  6. What a sad world it would be without trees… barren and ugly. It sounds like a dismal existence full of mutations and physical/mental suffering. I would not want to live in such a world.

  7. I love that last line as much as I fear it is just around the corner like an ugly truth waiting to happen.. great close Magaly.

  8. Ouch! Great climate apocalyse story, much too close to reality for comfort. Love the acceptance of the conditions by this character, like it’s no big deal. Also the listing of maladies, which includes a loss of “trust.”

    • I, too, like the character’s attitude towards what is happening. There is no screams or why mes, just a deep sense of, “Well, this is what I have. I will make the best of it… even if I still wish it was better.”

  9. Echoing others, the last line was excellent…but the entire poem was amazing and in conjunction with the video, moving. I hope that we can find ways to reintegrate the idea of strength and responsibility as part of a collective and not just individual response to the world.

  10. Sometimes there are dystopian stories that seems like fantasy and scary, but sometimes dystopia can be collected from the news feeds… (alas)… this is such a scary case.

  11. That first line so full of alliteration is a perfect hook, Magaly, especially followed by the suckerpunches of ‘The babes of my generation wailed their way into the world missing pieces—eyes, intestines, trust’ and ’ I’m quite attached to my cyber-limbs’. One might think it was science fiction…

    • I was definitely going for a slight science fiction angle, so… thank you for noticing. 🙂 Then again, it seems that I’m too late. Like Bjorn suggested earlier, it can’t be science fiction if we find must of it in the news.

  12. Beautifully penned..How reckless we have been. Destroying the nature that feeds us and gives us fresh breath of life. Thanks for bringing this to our notice through your piece. The more attention we bring to it, the better it is.

  13. I remember making a leaf collection in 10th grade. I believe we were supposed to collect samples from at least 25 species and seal the specimens between sheets of wax paper. It was a fun project and I learned a lot about trees.
    Unfortunately, today’s politicians are all about money and indebted to the special interest groups to got them elected. To hell with the environment, just kick the can down the road and let future generations worry about their own survival.

    • I love collecting leaves, especially in autumn (all the pretty colors… also, the trees are giving them away).

      About the politicians and policy makers and other strange creatures, I have no idea what lies in the place where their heart should be. I know they are greedy, but goodness gracious! how much do they need to have? For what? And at what cost?

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