Love in the Time of Global Warming
by Raphael Williams
The pond is in bloom again. The water was shimmering
beneath the bellies of the family of swans; they glided past me
and sent me wary looks down pointed beaks. I gave them
a wide berth in the canoe. Their cygnets nestled fuzzy beaks
into their wings, necks arching back in gray beams. Sunlight
slanted down onto the sand in the shallows, and blue crabs
moved against the ground in a bishop’s diagonal stride,
at tense war with the lake and the clumps of green algae
and the bits of driftwood and their own clambering bodies,
their claws raised and desperate. I sat on the broken wicker seat
and thought that I was getting better, and thought how perfect
all this was—because, you see, the pond is getting better too,
darling: the minnows are back to throw their silver slipper frames
into the air. It was like I could hear the flowers snapping open
and the leaves grinning in girlish rhapsody. Gone was
the brown sludge that had once shoved its way onto the shore
in grim lethargy. Gone was the still pond with its glassy waters.
It was brimming with energy, and don’t you see? I gave it away.
I gave away all that I had too much of, and that nervous vibration
looks much better on the ospreys circling above; their eyes
pierced my chest like golden spears, delicate and gleaming.
It will fall out of bloom, soon, but in unpredictable ways—
which I find I am okay with, and I am not sure if it is a sign
of getting better, or of some new madness—perhaps the ospreys
will remain, years from now. Hunched like vultures on bare branches.
Or maybe they will go first; to where, I will not know. But I know
I will be here to watch. These eddies kick themselves up
in the smooth flow—and what a dream to get lost in their currents.
Write back soon.
About the Author
Raphael Williams is a high-school senior living in NYC. They write poetry, personal and critical essays, and short stories. In their spare time they enjoy astronomy, reading, and drawing. Their favorite poets are Mary Oliver and Hera Lindsay Bird.