by Gary Hardaway
The natural world can irritate—
a red wasp's sting, the bite of a flea,
the afternoon sun in your eyes
when you must travel west.
It takes the human world, though,
to really piss you off
or drive you into exile out of fear.
Hope's feathered wings are caught
and pinned by talons of the hawk.
Her flutters and cries go unnoticed
so enamored are we all of the hook-
beaked predator's cunning prowess.
The building intends
no harm. It intends only our
protection, comfort, and prosperity.
The young dove
chases the grasshopper
into the high glass of the north wall.
It squats now
on the concrete drive,
stunned, with rapid, shallow breath.
Incapable of anything
but pity, we watch and wait
for it to either fly away or die.
Tender bodies sizzle on the grill.
Gods feast well on succulent children
offered up by men assured that, should
supplies run low, new ones can be quickly
made to keep divinities fulfilled.