All Extinction Is Gradual at First
First, we noticed the trees
beginning to leave us—
shedding their cowls earlier in summer.
We thought: an off season.
But the same thing happened the next year, too.
Then, the days of spring grew impossibly thin—
we morphed from winters that wouldn’t leave us
to the swelter of summers in staccato.
No season behaved itself.
Weather became a wild animal biting
anything in its path.
We don’t think about the last time
we saw bees swarming around.
We don’t see abundance the way we used to
and only the endangered lists grow longer.
These mornings, I look out onto a browning world
growing chiller faster, while thinking, elephant, tiger.
I move to tell my children about them.
Winter Music at the End of the World
Somewhere, snow is drifting down on you.
Snow like the lightest brush of your hair.
I begin not to mind this anymore.
Absence becomes an almost-sweet music.
Listen, I whisper to my children, can’t you hear it?
The crisp breath in snowfall, the white sky—the souls.
My hands are relaxing.
When I walk and hold the air, I am holding you.