“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin.”

Consider the birds of the forest, the sky;
they sing—not on Spotify.
Consider a world without birds;
Explain to your grandson:
only feed birds in winter, otherwise spoil them.
Teach him to take birdsong for granted,
(a single note of which pales Mozart’s power).
Explain how one-third means two-thirds remain;
one-third of birds vanished from Earth—
just a number, nothing more, stay calm.
Your grandson’s third grade class learned
that birds evolved from dinosaurs;
the skeletons of birds, of behemoths are the same.
Tell the child you don’t believe in evolution;
feel his small hand disengage from yours.
When he cries out, “I don’t want to live like that,”
Tell him, “Hush, someone might hear you;
it is God’s will, the End of Days.”
Tell him the world is just fine;
all that nonsense about milkweed is a liberal lie.

Explain your cancer.

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