Today's poem is by Gary Fincke

Bird Elegy

In post-apocalypse stories, when more
Than roaches survive, one woman remains
In the ruined world, and always she's found
By surviving men who cross continents,
Sail oceans, or stumble from a nearby,
Accidental shield of lead. The woman
Chooses strength and goodness; and thankfully,
She's young and healthy and gorgeous herself,
Able to give birth like the animals
Without worrying about Down syndrome
Or the consequences of suspect genes
When everything's up to her like it was
For the last female black robin on Earth.
For what hope was there, that bird already
Older than its ordinary life span?
What could she expect from the final males?
Yet she has two hundred descendants, more
To come, the sentimental name "Old Blue."
Although we know it's not love for the man
Or the species, it's the need in ourselves,
The old desire to be fondled and touched
Exactly there, and yes, there, for the joy
That makes us heroic, frees the noises
We leak, then gladly flood into the air.

Copyright © 2005 Gary Fincke All rights reserved
from Standing around the Heart
The University of Arkansas Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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