No bedtime story

In a world of gismos and gadgets galore
we’re constantly on the lookout for more
till we’re up to our noses in things we don’t need
holding an iPhone in one hand and wearing a thneed
remember that story about the truffula trees?
The trees that were cut down to make more and more thneeds?
The warning flew over our heads like the sparrow at night
cause we’re still killing trees and not seeing what’s right
it’s been in front of our faces this whole time, I swear
just look all around you and tell me, where
are the birds and the bees and the flowers?
Where are the worms and the snails after afternoon showers?
They’re all dying off or going away
looking for places that aren’t so gray
where the water’s fresh and the sky is still blue
I don’t know many places like that, do you?

poem by Helena Van Brande

Helena Van Brande is an undergraduate student at Princeton University, completing a degree in comparative literature with certificates in creative writing and environmental studies. In addition to writing poetry, she writes nonfiction essays and does translation from French, German, and Dutch. She was born in Belgium, and moved to the United States with her family when she was a child. In her spare time, she enjoys running, climbing, cooking, and gardening.