To Daddy on my wedding day & Introduced species
[ poetry - may 07 ]
To Daddy on my wedding day
Sinister stepmothers do not surprise:
she was long destined to incinerate
my childhood dreams of marrying a prince.
And stepsisters have trampled on the hopes
of girls like me in other stories too.
Anyway, their eyes are pecked out in the end.
So, as you know, the illustrations gray,
become an achromatic sketch of ash.
But I've forgiven them in charity.
You, on the other hand, with your blind eye,
will be repaid by my now royal hand.
You are the one who might have rescued me
at once by simply putting my love first,
before her swelling bodices or that
less chivalrous thing in your pantaloons.
Yes, you shall be immolated at dawn
till every thought of you is carbonized
like the forgotten coals of burning brides.
Discharged from foreign ballast tanks,
the zebra mussel deprives natives
like the benthic amphipod.
The Caspian fish-hook water flea
starves out Great Lakes larval fish.
The Asian long-horned beetle breeds
in Sacramento cargo holds.
And nineteenth-century science still mocks:
the starling loosed in Central Park
to naturalize the birds of the Bard;
the snail that wasn't escargot
that plagues West Coast tomato plants;
the eucalyptus tinderbox
that fuels South-western forest fires.
Johnny Appleseed wandered wide
devolving nurseries on the wild;
colonists swarmed with cows and bees;
man's best friend accompanied him
across the ice of the Bering Strait.
And so much arrived unheralded
on driftwood and in hurricanes.