Plastic orphans

Jane Dougherty Writes

My poem for Paul Brookes’ 30DaysWild challenge.

Plastic orphans

I toss a bottle in the sea,
watch until it’s lost to sight.
Like Lir’s children, tossed from sea to loch
through storm and crashing waves,
it drifts unchanged and undiminished.

Not in pure white feathers clad,
its coloured label fading with the sun,
but smeared and greened with algae,
for three hundred years it sails,
condemned to never let its atoms free.

Three hundred years again before it finds
a different sea, an ocean broad as half the world,
and carried in the currents,
jostled by a million lost semblables,
it joins the continent of plastic trash.

Perhaps in three hundred years again,
when time has put an end to our earthly reign,
the sorry debris, our eternal badge of shame,
will sink like human bones, to rest
among the corals and the last of all the pearls.

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