If I remember correctly, the story begins as the last ships containing the last bit of human civilization are leaving the heavily polluted Earth to resettle elsewhere. A man and his grandson have decided to stay on the planet. The story is basically a conversation between the man and the grandson. At one point, one of the ships dumps a load of garbage back down onto the Earth. I believe the story ends when the boy (or the grandfather) finds a green plant growing up through broken concrete.

I read the story as a youngster, so it was probably in one of those literature compilations that one would have in their elementary/junior high literature classes.

  • 2
    Possible dupe of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/24681/…? – Valorum Jun 11 '18 at 19:06
  • Oh crap, I guess it is. I think I've actually seen that post before and forgot about it. Thank you. – Andrew Jun 11 '18 at 19:14
  • There's no accepted answer though. Do either of the stories mentioned look like they're a match for yours? – Valorum Jun 11 '18 at 19:24

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