Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Kathryn Levy: They

They scare us with headlights. They swerve              

into our bodies. They surround us with houses

and ten foot high fences. They attach

words to our panic, as if we were human. They clap    

their hands, shoot their rifles. They move

a mountain of dirt in the middle of the forest,

which isn’t a forest—not anymore. Not

Any More—they sign petitions against us,

hundreds of letters scrawled on the pages.                     

They have called the forest The Final Chapter.

They plant forest flowers, they insert the new trees,          

and have dug a hole where

the pond used to be—and filled it with water

carried hundreds of miles by

the water sellers. They put up a sign: Beware

of the Deer, a black figure leaping

across a bright nowhere. They stand

over our bodies: It is such                                       

a shame. And shake their heads and turn

the locks on the doorsAt night when they’re sleeping,

or trying to sleep, we peer in their windows: What                    

is coming next? They don’t provide answers because

we can’t ask the questions. And

neither can they. They just

get in the cars and turn on the headlights

and watch us watching them in

our fear.


Kathryn Levy is the author of Reports (New Rivers, 2013). She lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

Copyright 2020 Kathryn Levy

Kathryn Levy

2 comments on “Kathryn Levy: They

  1. Barbara Huntington
    September 23, 2020

    I sit in horror at the My Neighbors group bemoaning the coyotes, the skunks, the rattlesnakes. They own the place referring to their tract neighborhoods my cutesy names. I retreat into my backyard in one of those neighborhoods and watch the bees in the White Sage.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Patricia A. Nugent
    September 23, 2020

    Beautifully sad. What are we doing!!?? The Union of Concerned Scientists published a book in 2019 titled “Here: Poems for the Planet,” with a forward by the Dalai Lama. A group worth supporting – and you get the book free if you do.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 23, 2020 by in Environmentalism, Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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