The LUGO Press

Checkmate Illustrated by Laura Steel Pascual


This piece was written for the Green Office’s Spring Poetry competition, on the theme: Environmental Guilt, which took place between the months of April-May 2022.


Your fury burns me

But the truth is

I burned you first

So who am I to tell you

That it hurts

When I was the one

To inflame the hand

That’s now holding the lighter

Oh how I wish you would cease your overflowing tears

Because as you cry

The tides rise

And as you yell

Everything dies

Tell me,

Mother Earth,

What can I do to make it better?

What can I do to take the pain away?

Is it too late?

No, it can’t be.

I don’t accept that.

I just feel so guilty.

I wish I could take it back

All the harm I’ve caused you

I wish I could take it back

All the sleepless nights I made you go through

But the truth is

I can’t.

So, here we are now

Playing an intricate game of chess

“Your move”

You say

But it’s already checkmate.