Ecosystem | Anna Rabinowitz

                          1
 
That somber greens — ferns, conifers, cycads — flittered
              with fruit and bloom
 
That the earth’s face pinked, reddened, honeycombed glow
 
That angiosperm came to outnumber gymnosperm
 
That they seduced insect, bat and bird, flaunting colors
             and smelling good
 
That they multiplied, hybridized, colonized east to far,
             north to near, valley to peak
 
                         2
 
That brush crowded out burr oak and big bluestem grass
That weed evicted sweet brown-eyed Susan
That buckthorn unseated cream gentian and violet bush clover
 
                                                  
                        3
 
That there had been prairie-fringed orchid, Indian grass,
             large-leafed aster
 
That there had grown starry campion and bottlebrush buckeye
 
That there had flown great spangled fritillaries, Edwards’ Hairstreaks
 
That Cooper’s hawks, eastern bluebirds, Appalachian browns
             had manned the trees
 
                                                   
                        4
 
That what was mis-taken reappeared
 
That flowers strummed in the trees
 
                        5
 
That they made it and made it, new, now, and again
 
That it is possible, possible, spreading, and so

 

from Present Tense

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