Easy Come

M. A. Schaffner

It’s too easy to make the mountain shatter
into its constituent tears.  This year
the ducks fled north into ice-melt while fish
flopped in confusion at the headwaters

of several legendary rivers, but
no rain came to rescue them.  Travelers called
on hand-cranked radios but that help desk
was out-sourced to hell seven years ago.

What’s left is our sense of supremacy –
dominance without responsibility
for amelioration, or even cleaning up.
Remember frogs when they had just four limbs?

Now ask the lizard on vinyl siding
how it feels about house cats, spayed or not.
Better yet, start making up names for roaches,
or use the ones that used to serve for snow.


M. A. Schaffner has had poems published in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, and elsewhere – most recently in Hermes, Modern Poetry Review, and Pennsylvania Review. Long-ago-published books include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia juggling a Toshiba laptop and a Gillott 404.

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