Writing Catalog

Camden Kitchens

Grade: 12

Hathaway Brown School

Instructor: Elizabeth Armstrong

8 Minutes and 20 Seconds


8 Minutes and 20 Seconds

A teacher once told my class,
You wouldn't know the sun was out until
8 minutes and 20 seconds after it's already turned dark.

What would I do if I had 8 minutes
pending complete darkness?
What would the world do
knowing the End will soon follow?

I listened to what my teacher said,
a statistic backed by science,
a fact,
yet somehow
it didn't affect me as I knew it should.
Isn't the world already dark?
Would there be a difference?

We hear about the climate crisis-
the world breaking into shambles.
Government structures rising and falling.

If we were given a final 8 minutes of vision,
would the human race band together-
pick up the pieces which we've destroyed-
leave the world a place of peace and beauty?
Or would there be complete and utter chaos and violence?

Humans are the bane of our own existence,
so filled with greed that we
Take and Take and Take
until there's nothing left.
We do that to the Earth,
we do that to the people around us,
we even do that to ourselves.
Is that what I do?

What would I do if I were given 8 minutes warning?
Who Is the last person I genuinely want to see?
What is the last thing I want to lay my eyes on?

It is with these thoughts that
I often become lost in my own mind
I wish to believe that I will stand up-
pick up the pieces of the Earth,
but when it comes down to it,
what would I actually do?