Joanna Rosenberg 

Our facilitator Joe McGonegal led a fun, interactive creative writing session called “Poetic Justice,” that took me back to high school English class! We were asked to pick a topic from a list that consisted of various issues of the day—war, poverty, racism, etc.—and write a poem predicting how it will look in 2021. I chose climate change and focused on the positive impact that the pandemic has actually had on the environment and how after this is all over (if it’s ever over), we have some proof of what is possible to steer climate change in the right direction. We were also asked to use a buzzword of the moment, so I chose the word “hoax” (as in climate change is a hoax, the coronavirus is a hoax, you get the idea). The title is a nod to Public Enemy’s song, “Don’t Believe the Hype.” 

Don’t Believe the Hoax?

It took a pandemic to see it.

The skies cleared.

The waters felt what it’s like to be pure.

Whales and dolphins are no longer in hiding.

The sidewalks shed themselves of garbage.

But isn’t it a hoax?

It took a pandemic to see it.

It’s time to return to Agreement.

It’s time to restore.

It’s time to get back to what we know can work.

It’s time to pull together once more.

Don’t believe the hoax?

Joanna Rosenberg is a member of Follow Your Art Community Studios.

Read more stories on Palette.