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Monday, April 20, 2015


by Kit Zak

Earth Day is April 22

Even before the shaman’s words, we knew
gulls screeched warning
water sipping the shore
the full moon, our lone night’s light, swollen tides
Newtok’s first six huts poised to surrender before the others.

Even before the Anchorage experts, we knew
Permafrost melt killing birds and fish,
winter ice, barrier against flood, icebox for our food
lifeline” for seals and polar bears—vanishing
ancestors’ dreams rippling in our sleep.
Even before the tribal grapevine,
we marked the tide, knew it was coming.
Heard about our brother whales’ distress
Denali sheep and wolves starving
lakes drained and trees burning.

Even before the talk of moving, we knew
millions to resettle one hundred tribes
and time galloping, winter winds walloping, huts sinking—
we knew.

Kit Zak lives in Lewes, Delaware, where she observes with disbelief the failure of the politicians to take up the issue of climate change. Her most recent poems are forthcoming in California Quarterly,
Portage, Poet Lore, and  The Albatross.