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Thursday, June 13, 2024

ON THIN ICE

by Anne Gruner



"[Thwaites], a massive Antarctic glacier, which could raise global sea levels by up to two feet if it melts, is far more exposed to warm ocean water than previously believed, according to a [newly published]study...." —The Washington Post, May 20, 2024.


We knew you were sickly but hoped you'd recover,
not believing you were on your deathbed.
Then we x-rayed you from space, just to be sure,
and like many x-rays they brought bad news.
 
As your shining face peers at the sun,
a deadly disease eats away your soft underbelly—
an affliction we don't fully grasp—
understanding its cause, but not its progression.
 
Warm, salty water seeps into a gaping wound
with every breath of tide you take, 
rising and falling, an eroding necrosis,
accelerating without notice until it's too late.
 
We thought you would live thousands of years,
but now fear your death in decades—
with consequences so dire
we call you "Doomsday."

 
A Pushcart-nominated writer, Anne Gruner's poetry has appeared in over a dozen print and on-line publications, including Amsterdam Quarterly Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Written Tales, and Humans of the World. Anne lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and two golden retrievers.