An Old Song
by Mara Buck
First they came for the scorpions and we said, fine,
Dangerous creepy bastards, squirt em, better off without em,
But the birds that ate the carcasses didn’t agree as they died.
Then they came for the clothes moths, vermin, destructive bitches
Ate my cashmere sweater, but the child who played
Dressup in the closet and ended her life in ICU was
Unsure of the relative importance of her years to cashmere.
Then they came for the wasps, stinging hateful enemies of
Unprotected skin in the summer. Nuked em with everything
In the arsenal and our barbeques were safer.
Then they came for the honeybees (well we do like honey) but
Hey there are so many dandy substitutes, we can certainly do without.
Still, we noticed the produce and the flowers in our Valentine bouquets
Looked less and less vibrant, the oranges smaller and less juicy
And most importantly, cost more—and we frowned.
But now, they’re coming for the butterflies, beautiful flying gems
Glinting storybook splendor, poetry on the wing, and we say,
Wait just a damn minute, but that minute is ticking away, and
So are we.
About the Poet: Mara Buck writes and paints in a self-constructed hideaway in the Maine woods. Winner of the 2019 Raven Prize, Scottish Arts Club Prize, F. Scott Fitzgerald Poetry Prize, Binnacle International Prize. Awarded/short-listed by the Faulkner/Wisdom Society, Hackney Awards, Balticon, Confluence, and others, with work in numerous literary magazines and print anthologies. https://www.storyawards.org/mara-buck https://twitter.com/mara_buck https://www.facebook.com/mara.buck.9
July 2, 2019 at 12:33 PM
Thanks Ellynn. Neimoller said it best. I’ve updated it in my own smart-assed, scared voice.
July 2, 2019 at 12:29 PM
To Anonymous, Thanks so much for your comment. The state of Maine, where I live, has been spraying Roundup along all the roadsides for decades. I haven’t seen a Monarch for years. Sad and scary and so very wrong.
July 1, 2019 at 8:28 AM
I’m currently fighting the use of Roundup in my housing development. Our bees and butterflies are being killed and everyone including pets are exposed to cancer. I can relate. Thank you Mara for writing this!
LikeLiked by 1 person
July 1, 2019 at 8:10 AM
I love the uniqueness of voice here
LikeLiked by 1 person