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she plunders through her plastic palace,
weaving webs and waiting for whiteflies among
black bin-bags and bottle caps and bits of
the world’s wasted wealth.
while she waits I wonder if even the
cockroaches crawl through these contaminated crevices.
my schoolmates scream at the
eight-legged enemy, but I know that in
this enemy’s eyes;
The Monster Is Me.

About the Author
Nicole McFadden is a student in Kildare. She has been published in the Irish Times and the Irish National Organisation For Teacher’s of English annual magazine. Nicole wrote this poem in response to the climate crisis, and the consequences that dumping is having on our planet.

Editor's Note
This is a richly multisensory poem, full of sound and colour and texture. The poet has made excellent use of alliteration to create a kind of creepy, incantatory tone – and the alliterative repetitions also seem to foreshadow the inevitability of the climate crisis referenced in the poem’s conclusion. Originality, concision and, as a result, a disturbing newness have been brought to a difficult and much-described issue. Poetry like this, punchy and surprising enough to dig beneath complacency, is so important in our desensitised world.