It kills others before it turns on itself.
In faraway lands, a bomb scatters
debris like a flock of startled birds.
A drone creeps on its civilian target like a stealthy cat.
Bats, from their hanging cocooned slumber, emerge
from the damp mouths of caves, infest
At its border, mass, unmarked graves
where children tried to mount a train
they call a beast. It flings them off
its steel, well oiled back:
before it ends, apathy will be mechanized
just like everything else.
In refugee children, their eyeballs
have been replaced by miniature worlds.
Here, some people wear flags
as blindfolds, beat the piñata world
in its gut.
When it ends here, it will be like an ax,
hacking slowly at an ancient tree, its roots,
claws tunneling under every landscape,
still taking whatever it can take for nourishment.
Ruination, sowed by man.
Gripping his gold handled ax,
wood chips will pool at his feet for centuries,
until the final creak squeals like a newborn
as it slumps over, a defeated bull.
Anne Champion is the author of The Good Girl is Always a Ghost (Black Lawrence Press, 2018), Reluctant Mistress (Gold Wake Press, 2013), and The Dark Length Home (Noctuary Press, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Verse Daily, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, Epiphany Magazine, The Pinch, The Greensboro Review, New South, and elsewhere. She was an 2009 Academy of American Poet’s Prize recipient, a Barbara Deming Memorial grant recipient, a 2015 Best of the Net winner, and a Pushcart Prize nominee.