Hard for the Money

Anticipation, falling short of
dead-ended expectations
flapping arthritic wings
freeing morning dew’s cumbersome weight
each drop in the haze
swooped upon and caught,
rolled up in frenzied mandibles
by mother gnats expecting thirsty progeny
they will never be bound by nature to quench
as they drop and die, as decomposing bodies
fixing nitrogen in the dirt
as the mother bird
on a different branch of evolution’s twisted trajectories
beats air Earthward for earth worms
probing, plucking, masticating
and bringing the vomit home
to weak mewling beaks, open, helpless
yawning blind in hungry need
as well-ground segmented meat
spews into tiny mouths
nourishing the next generation
building pectoral muscle and hollow bone
as all the earth worms, aerating the soil, toil and scream
“Why should these limbed aberrations
live by the virtue of our hard work?”
In response, the universe is silent, its voice to hard-earned to share


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