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FROZEN FISH

In drought, some plants
make copious amounts of seed,
and thus depleted, die.
I prefer the ones that wither
down to nubs and covet moisture
in their lower parts.

A cheetah bears three cubs;
only one survives.
Another litter comes —
none live, yet she provides
for little corpses til
the jackals drive her out.

In St. Jude's lobby,
a father's desperate eyes
search hungrily for grief.
She topped the list today.
She's dying.
Have a heart.

A bucket drawn from
childhood's wishing well;
coins locked in ice,
and look here, something else —
more silvery, immobile,
but alive.

      — Diona Poff