Silence chauffeurs loss,
I call it—God
another conundrum unsolved.
A discreet chill lingers to speak,

a farewell from the arctic concludes:
if millions of anything dies
it isn’t equally tragic
.

Primates are most vile;
what could Jane Goodall see
in chimpanzees?

Maybe as humans, we are of different genera, unclassified
chain-links. With the real miracles

being exploited, pillaged, gulped whole—
I know we are a natural disaster
in action.

I attempt to distract my son from us,
squabble with loose pieces
to board games—
the misfits Goodwill crochets.

It is a dishonest flail on my part.
80,000 children are starving in Yemen;

I find three versions of Candyland
at my local garbage store,
not the edition from my childhood.

The characters on the cards speak with their demented eyes, marked
four ninety-nine
with enthusiasm and missing parts.

Once they were drawn docile,
nostalgic shades of imagination,
an assurance of safe nonsense.

Today, they are decomposing in landfills or have become debris inside
of beached whales.
My mother tags me in articles

depicting graphic images.
But never does anything more.
We stare on and scroll down.

Selected byLawrence George
Image credit:Michał Parzuchowski

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer who reads and writes voraciously in the quiet moments between motherhood and managing Crohn's Disease. She grew up on a small farm in a Texas town alongside many furry friends, two sisters, and a brother. She has known tragic loss too well, and her writing, which is often dark and honest, is a reflection of the shadows lurking in her psyche. Her work can be viewed at:https://kaciskileslawswriter.wordpress.com/, and her visual artwork and music can be viewed on YouTube under Kaci and Bryant.

 

A list of the places where my writing has appeared or is forthcoming:

 

Outlander Zine, Fahmidan Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, The Letters Page, Terror House Magazine, Bewildering Stories, Unlikely Stories, Anti-Heroin Chic, Red Fez, The Bollman Bridge Review, Triggerfish Critical Review, Capsule Stories Cajun Mutt Press, Levitate, Harbor Review, The Charles Carter, Fragmented Lines, Written Tales, Kiss My Poetry, Rough Cut Press, Eighteen-Seventy, Ten Million Flies, Open Arts Forum, The Broken Spine, Necro Magazine, Pif Magazine, Otherwise Engaged Literary and Arts Journal, Nod Magazine, Ponder Savant, Sleet Magazine, Goat Milk Magazine, Memoryhouse Magazine, Martin Lake Journal, 50 Haikus, Sub Rosa Zine, and Former People.