May/June 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 3 Nature's Nature |

And Still I Want to Bring Life into This World

Aquifers are so depleted it would take a great flood to replenish them, says the radio broadcast. I am driving from a doctors appointment, imagining the millions of us, our failed fields, washed over. A boat, two of each animal boarding again:bear and cub, boar and piglet, ape and baby. But when the reporter says the earth is sinking,he is not speaking of waves. The soil is falling to a lower level beneath our feet because ground wateris gone: a dry drowning. And the flood fable is the one of male and female, not mother and child. I can think only of the news that I may have no children, when there are morethan the world can manage to keep alive. Must the answer be only the varietyof grief? If not to envy all the irrigated orchards bore, to sorrow for the trees, sprayed and sterile?

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Rose McLarney
Rose McLarney has published two collections of poems, Its Day Being Gone (Penguin Books)—winner of the National Poetry Series—and The Always Broken Plates of Mountains (Four Way Books). She is assistant professor of creative writing at Auburn University and poetry editor of Southern Humanities Review. Rose has been awarded fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell Colony, Sewanee, Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, and the Darmouth Poet in Residence program at the Frost Place.

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