Apocalypto for a Small Planet

& the radio reports how in 2050
farming Massachusetts will be like farming Georgia—
all’s flux, no one can say what will grow in Georgia,
where maples will grow then or whose fine taps
will sap sugar from the cold in spring. Will we get syrup
from the boreal forest, peaches from Massachusetts?
Drone strikes & opium poppies.
Oil spills & poisoned wells.
Drought zone. Famine. War zone.
Artisanal, this
what gift
                                              this day.
My inner cynic says
don’t bother this is navel gazing
& my friend at Yale says my hunger
to be near zucchinis
will not save the planet from real hunger
except I remember in the film on gleaning
when the priest in his compassion says:
those who glean now out of spiritual hunger
also should be fed.
Ecosystem of yard or field or mind:
these cucumbers are more art than science,
more daydream
than global action (if we separate the two).
But digging now I feel an otherness—
life, a great inhuman freedom—
here I work a plot that also grounds—

Tess Taylor, "Apocalypto For A Small Planet" from Work and Days. Copyright © 2016 by Tess Taylor. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.
Source: Work and Days (Red Hen Press, 2016)
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