Volume 26, Number 3

Love Flowers amidst the Blight

“Will you marry me?” he asks,
Kneeling in the sere grass of the park.
A flock of songbirds falls from the sky,
To commemorate the event.

“I’ll love you forever,” she says.
As a school of fishes wash in the waves,
Belly up, stinking slightly in the evening breeze.

They walk back to his car, hand-in-hand,
Avoiding tar deposits from the latest oil spill,
And detritus from an exploded off-shore rig.

The moon rises as he starts the engine,
Ringed with an ethereal haze of pollution
From a coal-fired plant down the coast.
“Isn’t this romantic?” she asks.

They have to drive sixty miles south,
To avoid a line of tornadoes marching north.
Acid rain catches them on the causeway,
Etching the windshield slightly,
As they’re buffeted by hail from the storm.

Their first child is born on the eve of an earthquake,
Measuring nine on the Richter scale.
A happy event, regardless that the hospital’s west wing
Collapsed during the delivery.

They named the little girl Rose,
With high hopes for her future,
And many prayers that she might die
Before the world ends.

—Lela E. Buis