Civilization
by Beth Suter

they learn to look both ways
our clever cousins

crows, squirrels, jays, raccoons
using streetlights to spot what hunts them

choosing a well-fed life
over the forest’s hungry beauty

I see this city through their eyes
the security of a well-lit street

nests of shiny rubbish
what do nestlings know of past migrations

it’s the grief of great grandmothers
what they traded for our lives

who can blame those first corn-mothers
for clearing ground

for wanting chubby children

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 1.

Beth Suter studied Environmental Science at U.C. Davis and has worked as a naturalist and teacher. She is also a Pushcart Prize nominee, with recent or forthcoming poems in Bellingham Review, Poetry South, Mudfish, Poet Lore, and The American Journal of Poetry, among others. She lives in Davis, California with her husband and son.

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