The Changeling on the Windowsill
A Poem in the Time of Anthrax
This hag delights in fatal aches.
All say her toxins are a treat.
She’s wrapping up the Great Lakes;
Their pollution is complete.
So, don’t look for her in Lansing
On the twenty-third of June.
She’ll be out west infesting
The boulevards of Saskatoon.
In that capital of culture,
On the steppes all green with grain,
She will violate the weather:
Infuse her poison in the rain.
They won’t really try to stop her.
Oh, they’ll mount a quarantine —
Patrol the region with one chopper,
Employ some “experts,” none too keen.
The impurity of prairie will
Metabolize in city lights.
The changeling on the windowsill
Will beguile until she bites.
Just look and you can see her trace.
In every venue, folks are down —
The slaughter in the marketplace,
The river where the lucky drown.
You can find her in BigBillions,
In BigB burgers, BigFat fries —
Feedlots for metro millions,
Full of norway rats and flies.
Look! She’s passed through all the shops,
The offices, apartment blocks.
Her homicides escaped the cops.
They, too, fell victim to her shocks.
The suburbs were the last to go.
The schools, the homes are vacant now.
The morning mail brought lethal snow,
But not the kind that you can plow.
Now no foot treads the silent streets.
Every green thing has gone black.
Malice microbial retreats,
Regrouping for her next attack.
She’ll be long gone from Lansing
At the end of deadly June.
By then she’ll be departing
The ruins of Saskatoon.
Sealed in some doomed soul’s letter
Bidding relatives goodbye,
She’ll be loosed from every fetter —
Flying airmail to Shanghai.
Posted to Magnapoets – July 2006.