The red tide signals we                                                     are ground zero for so many things                                                                    by Nicole Tallman

On my morning walk, I pass by houses on stilts, sweat in a summer sun hotter than I can remember. I pick up piles of plastic, bury belly-up fish released by the ocean in high sighs. I pray for the strength of the cordoned squares safeguarding a sea turtle’s nest and the wooden crutches propping up a dying palm. I praise the salted air I can still breathe in and out freely. I praise this planet that keeps giving despite our abuse. I close my eyes and say to no one in particular: Let us cherish Mother Earth while there’s still time—before it’s too late to undo the damage we’ve done to her.

Nicole Tallman is the Poetry Ambassador for Miami-Dade County, Associate Editor for South Florida Poetry Journal, and Interviews Editor for The Blue Mountain Review. She is the author of Something Kindred (The Southern Collective Experience Press). Find her on Twitter and Instagram @natallman and at

The Coop: A Poetry Cooperative’s Editor, Laura Lee Washburn, has selected July’s poems around the site’s current theme “We’re Speaking” to capture voices pushing back against the current attacks in the U.S. on human rights and on democracy. Citizens of Kansas have an attack on their state constitution on the ballot August 2nd on which we hope they will vote no in order to preserve the Kansas legacy of being a free state in which all citizens have bodily autonomy. We stand in solidarity with all people affected by current rulings from the radicalized Supreme Court.


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