You, reader, grew up kind. You listened to your parents and you made your bed at times. You recycled at least once a week. You would sit at the edge of a stone-covered creek.
When you grew up, life got a little harder. You needed to support your son and your daughter. Your checks came in, but they weren’t enough. You wished the world was as kind as life was tough.
You get a job for a faceless company. You like the feeling of green-colored money. The static robots of Wall Street make the dough appear. Your boss offers you a drink from a tar-colored beer.
They tell you to pour the company’s excess into the ocean, and of course you comply. You can’t help but wonder a simple 3-letter word: W. H. Y.
You’re comfortable in your home. You watch TV. A nature documentary draws your attention to the screen. It’s a bird covered in oil. You turn away. It’s their problem, not yours, as we all tend to say.
Your daughter draws you a polar bear, they’ve long gone extinct. You turn on the faucet of a waterless sink. The air has grown hot, and you turn on the air. You send a prayer. Do people become naturally meaner when they become billionaires?
Your son is sick. He choked on a plastic knife. You wonder, briefly, about the plastic-choked wildlife.
The earth is bubbling up from under you, and the waters scream. The tender light of untouched sun tucks you in after a scary dream.
Our earth is sick. Our earth is in pain. Our earth craves clear-colored rain.
We’re falling behind. But I know you’re in there, reader. You, reader, grew up kind.
Aiko Lozar is a junior at Carlsbad High School. She founded Student Production Club, a platform for students to write, direct, produce, and act in their own cinematic and theatrical performances. In this club, she wrote and directed the first version of "Love is Blind: A Spoken-Word Play,” which then went on to win the California Playwrights Project. This organization professionally produced “Love is Blind” at the Joan B. Kroc Theater in January - February 2020. In 2019, she directed the student-written Oneirataxia; now, she is currently co-writing Student Production Club’s first movie: Bravo!
Her poetry has also received an Honorable Mention in the Region-at-Large Scholastic Art and Writing Contest and a finalist position in the Idyllwild National Arts Scholarship Competition.