Habitat grassy plains; jackrabbit, able to run full-furred
directly after birth; present status numerous.
Oh no, not really, not ever as in my youth.
Trapped against fences now, beaten to death by clubs
at festive gatherings, picnics, larks of ranchers, businessmen,
by little children taught kind nature lore.
this is the blind world swerving to its end, all balance gone,
deer starving in the trees, cougars in distant hills,
small puppies, bought for boys' vacations, left
by loving parents on New England's shores
at summer's end to starve or grow up wild.
I hope they live to stalk us once again.
It would be just, most anything be just
to man who speaks of vermin and destroys
as never botfly nor bubonic plague.
Sometimes on winter nights before my window
I lift a hand against the draft and judge if anywhere
far off, far off in cold Sierras of my mind, in latitudes that lie
the circle of the pole, pack ice has swollen, bergs increased,
a wind grown colder, a blue shadow deepened.
The Fifth Ice would be a cleansing if it moved,
but will it move in time? The night blows on my hand
but will not tell
even the method by which the world was changed
and elephants in fur once walked, and shaggy beasts
outnumbered my own kind. Reluctantly
I close the window, know that fuel grows scarce,
watch the uneasy landlords, know
that nature is deathly in return,
know the impatience of hot-blooded things, not hers,
sleeping bear's paw, a white polar paw to thrust
forth from some ice pack if at last she must.