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The Rescuing of Starfish

After ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren Eiseley

A little girl was running up and down the beach.
Her task: the rescuing of starfish, two at a time,
from hundreds stranded where the tide had left them.
Her journeys lengthened as the minutes passed.

Taking his daily walk along the hard wet sand,
a man stopped to admire her energy and work.
‘If I don’t do this, they will die,’ she told him, breathless.
He smiled, but said, ‘Look at them; there are hundreds.
How can you make a difference?’

                                                        Pausing just long enough
to wave the two she held in front of her, she said,
‘I’ll make a difference to these two.’ Off she ran.

Audio file

Listen to this poem — read by Peter Hetherington