Cold August

By Mary Greene
Posted 7/19/19

The nuts are falling in the woods. Or are we the nuts falling in the woods? Global warming has been declared: manmade/ God made/ made up/ catastrophic/ real/ unreal/ natural/ unnatural/ the end of …

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Cold August

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The nuts are falling in the woods. Or are we the nuts falling in the woods?
Global warming has been declared: manmade/ God made/ made up/
catastrophic/ real/ unreal/ natural/ unnatural/ the end of us/ a leftist
conspiracy to bring down the family. And we don’t say global warming
anymore; we say climate change: climbing/grinding/swinging temps up and
down. An excess of rain/ drought/ wildfires/ hurricanes. The Weather Channel

no longer knows what tone to take: here are our storm hunters at the brink,
of the surge but we only bring this news to keep you safe. It’s important
not to drive through floods as we show you cars careening through deep water.
We’re all one: we big-breasted girls in our strange dresses and
reassuring men with our average builds. Our Chicago-land with its heat;
our Texas drought; our Minnesota frost and Colorado fires; our Atlanta rainstorms

and heartland destruction; our Washington DC socked in with fog; our Philly with its
unprecedented tornados; our derechos and sand storms; our New York City looking
calm today under an orange sky and white-hot steely skyscrapers. (How long
can they last?) The birds in Central Park are done making nests. Chickadees
fly from branch to branch; the phoebes and robins have already booked.
The Hudson River cliffs look down without much interest. The waves

at Coney Island don’t make a fuss: average and brooding with a scent
of hot dogs. We are the ones we have been waiting for/ hoping for/ dreading.
Now close all the windows and hush all the fields—Hope is the thing
with feathers—And pluck til time and times are done—In my end
is my beginning—The sword sung on the barren heath—And here
is our patient, green and lush—and still so sweet—etherized upon a table.

(References in order of appearance: June Jordan (maybe), Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, William B. Yeats, TS Eliot, William Blake, TS Eliot.)

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