​Half a cord of oak
stacked neatly in the back
used to last half the winter.
Now it rots in the bin
populated by various nurseries.
There is warmth in the decay.
Confused trees and shrubs bud,
and the grass needs mowing.
There’ll be a bumper crop
in the spring.
Come the summer,
a blanket of dead and dying
highlighted in fluorescent pools
outside convenience stores.
Waves of grasshoppers
will part like the Red sea
when I walk the fields,
and the mosquitoes will
with exotic sounding diseases
that the CDC doesn’t worry about
until it arrives on our shores.
So it plagued the third world.
What is death to those
without electricity?
Build a bottling plant
not a hospital.
Strip mine and deforest,
it’s a world away.
It’ll be eighty degrees today.
I’ll be glad next month,
when winter ends.
M. Zane McClellan
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