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Sunday, April 19, 2015


by Emily Strauss

Earth Day is April 22

Today I saw a photo
of deep-winter Alaska
with brown dirt exposed
in the sledding track

and a fissure in the ice
of Antarctica long enough
to calve an massive ice floe
the size of Tahitian Peleliu

where the broken bones
of Japanese soldiers
were found in dark caves
seventy years later

sardines on the Oregon
coast are decimated
by over-fishing, ninety
percent are gone now

a single almond needs
a gallon of water to grow
times a million acres
the land now shriveled

another photo reveals
a twelve-foot python
imported to the Everglades
feeding on raccoons

ignorant of the threat
of a Burmese invader
part of the billion-dollar
exotic pet trade nearby

the air pollution meter
today read 168, only
unhealthy— increased
aggravation of heart, lungs

premature mortality
in the elderly forecast
for those regularly exposed
stay indoors, watch TV

I watched the sky striated
with clouds at sunset tonight,
streaked with corals, reds
coloring us over, keeping vigil

Emily Strauss is a teacher, newspaper reader, concerned citizen, and yes denizen of many poetry pages.