Family dinner night, and we are deciding what to save:
polar bears or slipper limpets. Girls in Afghanistan
or the wolf. We can’t save everything
but the kids are ready
with their banks, the season’s extra, the not-
ice cream. How does the Afghan girl feel
to make our list? We bring more and more
money to the table but the list outruns it.
My mother comes in from visiting a friend in hospice,
sick from all the chemo. When I get whatever it is, she says,
I want you to do nothing. It’s only May
and already they’ve declared a statewide drought.
Yesterday I hiked over a river that was not there.
Coral reefs, my son says, that’s what I want
to save. And so we do. Whatever is happening to us
is deductible. Silence of the was-river,
was-bear. In the movies everyone is building
some kind of ark.