Give sorrow words, not antacids.

We were all so arrogant, yes,
     to think it wouldn’t happen to one of us
     though all of us are dying a little every day.

A maudlin fog grips the city
     that you’ll never see again.
A million icy particles suspended
     right in front of our noses,
     too tiny, too gray to make out as individuals.

Your son and wife are in Florida.
Only they know why.
In Florida, waves of melancholy
     lick the dirt-sand shores.

In Florida, seagulls gripe about their diets
     so the children feed them Alka-Seltzer
     and watch them fly away.

The children hope to pop the birds
     like balloons past their prime.

In California, children also hope to pop the seagulls.
The children have turned toward a cruel science.

Where will we be when the fog and the cold lift
     and all homes but one are warm and lively;
     when the ladybugs think they’ve found holes in the windows
     then spend the rest of their lives
     in a pane-centered community;
     when the rainwaters drop and the rivers brim with water poisoned
     by our desire for more life and our desire to grow,
     grow as fast as we can?

Where will we be when the woods
     call us back to make love in the forest,
     to make masks of shed bark
     and clothes from fallen logs?

Where will we be when you won’t;
     when you won’t ever again?

We were all so arrogant, yes,
     and arrogant still.

Our children are ignorant and growing.
The trees promise a wild, quiet fog.
Ice hangs from the leaking gutters.

Give sorrow words, not antacids.