Kids Issues 2019: A golden chance

TAKING ON AIR POLLUTION: Third-grader Phineas Bundy of Sand Hill-Venable Elementary School created this colorful collage of a superhero who fights air pollution.

Editor’s note: This essay and artwork are part of a series of posts from Part I of Xpress’  annual Kids Issues, which features the creativity of local K-12 students. This year, we asked kids and teens to submit art and writing around the question: “What would you do if you had superpowers for a day?”

Life chose me by a golden chance to have superpowers for just 24 hours, and I used them to revive our planet. With my hands, I instantly raised great trees from the Earth; I withdrew the sinister gases that haunted our atmosphere with a single exhalation. When I was granted superpowers, I used them to bring about the solution to deforestation and air pollution.

I felt the ground shaking beneath my feet, and my hands were tingling violently, as though surging with electricity. The earth cracked open dramatically, and a tiny sapling sprouted rapidly before me. It quivered for a moment, but soon the quivering intensified to a frenzied quake. My hands energized, burning with power. I gawked, astonished, as the sapling doubled, tripled, then quadrupled in size until it towered over me in a great exhibition of leaves and branches. I raised a finger, causing more trees to arise instantaneously for as far as was distinguishable. The massive trees cast shadows over me, and I stood there, astonished.

I inhaled deeply, and the air seemed cleaner, purer. I exhaled a contented breath. A ferocious wind arose from my lips, spiraling wildly throughout the sky. It soared toward a nearby factory, blowing a cloud of pollution up into the atmosphere, away into the void that is space. Greenhouse gases from vehicles and machinery everywhere entangled together and joined in the same fate, leaving behind but a trace. Never had the planet been so glorious.

— Sydney Selmensberger
Eighth grade
Asheville Catholic School


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