Commencement Address to the Graduating Kindergarten Class of 2023

Parents, Teachers, Friends,
I’m so excited to greet you
On this exciting occasion
This hard-earned graduation

Now, some of you may know me,
But, for those of you
Who lack this distinction
My name is Mass Extinction

And it’s a sincere honor
To address these fine students
On this exciting day
They’ve learned so much,
And grown so much,
And soon they’ll be starting first grade

But first we’ll all have to suffer
Through this summer
Which will be hot,
Which helps me a lot
Burning larger fires,
And melting ever more glaciers

And you’re helping me, too
How many of you will be going on
vacations this summer
And having barbecues?
Thank your parents for me
for all the driving and flying
And cooking up meat
Every little bit helps
But, what you may not know,
What helps even more
Is militarism, and war
So get a giant flag
for your meat meet
I know your parents
are probably not terribly happy
That I’m addressing you this way today
They may worry
That I’ll give you nightmares
But what’s so scary about a nightmare
Compared to waking up
In a room without oxygen
Unable to breathe
Because I’ve killed off all the trees?
Yes, from time to time,
You’ll have a nightmare
But, come on,
Are they any more scary than I am?
And what am I?
Sometimes I wonder, too
As I hope I’ve demonstrated,
I am you

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber