What Does the World Want from Me?

By Nicola Ranson

PROMPT — No one noticed ...

The emails want answering

The bills want paying

The garden wants watering

The calls want returning

The gifts want thanking

The clothes want washing

The husband wants feeding

The friends want nurturing

The world?

Wants Nothing.


This blessed neutrality

Provides the stuff of life:

The elements, the food,

And the stuff of death:

The fires, the plagues

But still, this mother of all species

Lets me be.


It’s entirely my choice

Whether to stomp out a cigarette on

Roundup laden grass.

Or, with sufficient silence,

To listen.


Then I might

Hear her crying

Tears of melted glaciers

For the loss of birdsong, and butterfly wings

As species disappear, and languages die:

A catastrophe so large

My Everything could never be enough

To meet the want.


But if the world wanted one thing

It would be that I care

For the earth, her elements, her peoples.

But it’s not about the world wanting

But what I want for her, for me, for us

It is our world after all.

Were we so busy with our emails

No one noticed?


Nicola Ranson is a writer and social worker living in Encinitas, California with her filmmaker husband Ron, with whom she recently co-wrote the screenplay for “Tattooed Trucks of Nepal—Horn Please.” Her work has been published in The Mighty, The Feisty Writer, Stage Directions, Advanced Computer Entertainment, and Somatic Psychotherapy Today. Excerpts of her upcoming memoir have twice been selected for publication in the literary anthology, Shaking the Tree.