This Preserve (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 10 Dec 2016 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of butterfly over still pond with markings spelling Disobey




This Preserve


And the starling, though despised, prefers to say:

“This preserve is not my native place.”

The man who cares for nature leads

Keeping a two-fingered grip on his zoom lens

His Sibley in his armpit

A lost wax welcoming grimace

On the donor’s plaque seldom read

Only when the bus is late, a heavy tread

On the path of rubber tires

This preserve, a zoo for the roadside possum

Papilio glaucus, Monarda fistulosa

Mosquitoes banished from standing water

Untrue the cuckoo had visited that year

Starved for the missing woolly bear

The treetop birds are not well counted

Their ranks by song extrapolated

Numbering the years’ unanswered cries

Unless he gains the edge in a game of throw-down

No one will take the trouble


To set this parching acreage aside

Even now, behind the ridge the shale quarry

Suggests new enterprise; the children’s duck pond

Bubbles with yellow algae

One hiker tosses scraps from a hero bun

His pal wings shingles of the flat blue stone

Each time the ducklings wobble in

He narrates this event on his phone

“That’s it. Whoa. Watch out.”




This Preserve

Oil painting of cats in military dress wielding weapons

The Cause
















(2016, Stephanie Foster)




1 Comment

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