Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: “My Seaside Wish,” by Susan Gleeson

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

picking up trash on beach

My Seaside Wish

by Susan Gleeson

The day was bright.
The day was clear.
Singing cicadas,
Trilled in my ear.

My big brother hollered,
“Are you awake?”
He ran to my bed.
He gave me a shake.

He had some good news.
This news was so great.
A day at the beach,
I could, hardly wait!

Mom packed all our stuff,
As we scurried around.
What we would forget,
She always found.

Travelling the highway,
Our excitement grew.
What would we do first?
We were in quite a stew.

First, a romp in the waves,
Then a search on the shore,
For seashells and sea glass,
And bounty galore!

With the sun on our faces,
And the sand ‘tween our toes,
With the cry of the seagulls,
And salt air in our nose,

The day would be perfect,
Brimming with pleasure.
From castles to ice cream,
A day we would treasure.

At last, we arrived,
Our destination in sight,
Only to discover,
A most terrible plight.

The storm and the rain,
From the evening before,
Had washed all this trash,
Onto our lovely shore.

The day lost its sparkle,
As we looked on in shame.
The beach had been ruined,
And who was to blame?

Bottles and bags,
Littered the shore,
With wrappers, containers,
And oh, so much more.

Our oceans so precious,
Teeming with life,
Are drowning in plastic,
And causing such strife.

We stood there in silence.
We stood there aghast,
Remembering, beach days,
From our recent past.

We were not by ourselves,
There were folks on the sand,
Bending and reaching,
And lending a hand,

To bring back the beauty,
To this lovely place,
We knew we would too,
Join in this race.

Beyond comprehension,
This problem so great,
We better start solving,
Before it’s too late.


Susan Gleeson is a wife and mother who resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Susan, along with her sister, co-authored “New Year’s Eve 1999.” This nonfiction book was a guide to the unique and entertaining ways to celebrate the millennium.

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