Friday, December 02, 2005

35. RELATIVES - Carl Dennis

“Remember your father, the wolf,”
The lecturer says.
“Chewed by its appetite, it chews its prey.
It howls with fear in the woods,
Beyond blame or praise.
Drop food in your children’s cages
When they follow commands,
And they’ll all be good.”

During the lecture, it was later learned,
Crows were observed tumbling in loops
Over North Dakota.
Two dogs, at leisure on a beach in France,
Ran a race to a rock.
In the Indian Ocean,
Thirty leagues down,
Men in a diving bell heard the anthem
Of a school of whales—an hour’s concert
Sung to some eager listeners miles away.

Remember your old cousins,
Those fish who crawled from the sea
When the seafood was plentiful
And the land bare.
Think of the voices they strained to hear
As they chose to hobble on tender fins
Painfully in the sun’s glare.