Endangered by Melanie McCabe


Save us before we disappear behind gleaming screens,
before we no longer find tongues to carry our frantic words.

Save us while we tremble at the anthers of late blooms
for a ration of nectar in our parched mouths.

Act now. Breathe back into our tightening throats
the coin and jingle of oxygen, the lulling anaphora

of the said-before, the call and refrain of the lungs
to the air. Pledge to hold us inside of our skins,

inside of our jackstraw and tenuous bones. Call
back the buzz, the exodus from the gassed hive.

Seal broken shells; fill them with hubbub and wings.
Sign new rings into the trunk of the narrow tree.

Guard us like condor, ocelot, and tamarin.
Guard us like mink and ivory and whale song.

Help us move through the darkness with our failing eyes.
Light up the dormant switchboard with stars.

by Melanie McCabe

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Editor’s Note: This ode’s imagery drives the speaker’s plea for the wonder of life, so it may continue despite humanity’s obliviousness.


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