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Water Justice

Pope Francis paraphrased:

“…access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.”

On the bottom side
of each flat rock
that has found a way
to reach its angle of repose
on the desert’s bottom floor
a sheen of droplets
forms at night
enough to fill a single cup.

That is your daily water ration
for the rest of your life
no more guzzling
no more showers
no more sitting in the tub
or leaving the tap to run

For there are children
in their mother’s womb
who will never ever drink
as you have so casually done
who will thirst for one day
of drinking
as you have drunk
without thinking
all the days of your life

up til now.


Gary Paul Nabhan is an agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer whose work has focused primarily on the desert Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local-food and heirloom seed-saving movements.



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