A Lesson In Ignorance

Here is her pride, rain-wet,

standing on unsteady feet,

bowed backbone arched

above bandy baby legs.

The child is looking down

at the washed out worm

that is barring her path

like a great orme.

She will not step over

nor will she go round

nor can she ignore

this curling creature.

Mother comes up to her

watches the wriggling thing

alongside her daughter

and laughs.

She moves forwards

and stamps on the worm,

leaves a bacon rind smear

across the pavement.

The daughter stamps too,

missing the streak,

but getting the message,

learning, remembering.

This is how to treat them,

the creatures of the world,

this is what you do, my pet,

you kill them, little girl.

The Warming Of The World

England.

Early January.

Out morning winter walking in the urban

backwoods, I see what I should not:

green buds breaking from the sleepy bark.

Not just the eager whitethorn but blackthorn, too,

and haw and wild rose and ash and more. All are

stirring now, too soon, wakened by the early warmth

of the world. They are not rested. They will bud and

leaf and flower and die before they should, out of

the time with the rhythm of the seasons. Bluebells, too,

are showing through, too soon, too soon.

This world is warming, these signs a warning

to us all.