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Friday, November 4, 2011

Poem of the Week, The Food Chain Has Failed, William Doreski

The Food Chain Has Failed

by William Doreski

No Daddy Longlegs. Usually
dozens adhere to the house,
their thread-legs too fragile

to touch without breaking.
They hunt ants and other forms
of punctuation, their appetites

out of proportion to their beady
little black or red bodies.
Lounging under the pear tree,

we discuss the collapse of nature:
the diminishing of nighthawks
over Keene on sultry evenings,

the lack of toads in the garden.
The pears smile down upon us.
Mottled red and yellow, they mock

us with stony rinds. Maybe one year
in four the fruit ripens properly.
I pick one anyway and fondle

its elegant form the way
I’d fondle you if I could.
We discuss the melting of glaciers,

the destruction of forest cover,
the industrial smog that blankets
the planet in a great hopeless sigh.

No ant hills pimple the gardens,
no spiders or snakes to eat them.
The food chain has failed. I stroke

the tough glossy pear and feel
your body react. You shift
position, uncomfortable now,

your confident azure gaze adrift
as the long light outlines you
in a gesture almost of flight.

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