• Alyssa Keith and Caroline Tiernan

The World As We Know It

When we were twelve years old,

we were never told

that the Earth as we know it might no longer be home.

On hot summer days

we would play with the hose,

watch the water’s endless stream flow

Unaware that it wouldn’t go

On forever.

Beach days after four o’clock the water would come up to our parents chairs

We move back a hair

Inching our way to the line of houses

The ocean’s water douses my legs

Giggling, I bend to pick up a sand dollar

My fingers brushing a plastic imposter

I toss it back like a skipping stone

My parents clap at how far it was thrown.

Salt water in hair, feet bare

Filling the bathtub without a stare

At the faucet as it runs,

my sister and I would run into the bathroom,

Patiently leaning over the edge

Checking the waters temperature with our thumb

the water doesn’t run out.

My twelve year old self only had one thing to fear:

the dark.

I couldn’t go to bed without the spark

of my Tinkerbell night light

Glowing bright across my bedroom walls

as I would finally fall asleep,

keeping it on until morning

We never had a warning about

How one day, that light might go out.