Hair tied back, breeze ruffling her dress,
she receives the morning rays
like a first kiss.
August almost done, bushes bear their berries;
it is a season of plenty. Time
has little touched this land.
Stones glisten along the marshy bank
as if the river were their mother,
and they too wise to stray.
Irreverent to think of leaving and yet,
the thought was there, not for the stones
but for the girl.
She hears the trucks roaring in the distance,
There will be no picks and shovels
in this merciless mission,
More brutal far, this ravaging of Earth,
this fracturing that brought in
Strangers with no ties to the land,
bonuses for production, the rumble
grows ever louder.
Her long thin fingers gentle a berry
from its stem. Tomorrow these bushes
will be gone.
The lease has been signed.
Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from the vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract. Opponents point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flow-back, and the health effects of these. For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under international scrutiny, with some countries suspending or banning it. The practice of injecting water into deep rock formations causes earthquakes, both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Geological Survey have concluded.