Advice from Rock Creek Park

What will survive us
has already begun
Oak galls
Two termites’ curious
self-perpetuating bodies
Letting the light through the gaps
They lay out their allegiances
under the roots
of an overturned tree
Almost always better
to build than to wreck
You can build in a wreck
Under the roots
of an overturned tree
Consider the martin that hefts
herself over traffic cones
Consider her shadow
over parking-lot cement
Saran Wrap scrap in her beak
Nothing lasts
forever not even
the future we want
The President has never
owned the rain

Stephanie Burt, "Advice from Rock Creek Park" from Advice from the Lights.  Copyright © 2017 by Stephanie Burt.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press,
More Poems by Stephanie Burt