Oh, they chose, all right.
This is the New World:
no guarantee, but opportunity.
In one summer three crops,
like beautiful daughters,
have eloped with death’s sons.
One with grasshoppers,
one with drought, and one with hail.
Now they have no seed corn.
On their husk pallets
the children who remain
turn in the prison
of their thin ribs.
It’s only a matter of time
before the father will
have to take up the saw
and build another coffin.
By light of a candle
the mother washes the entrails
of a wild duck.
In the black cellar of its stomach
she discovers corn
new as morning,
enough to plant.
Look. She holds it up
in the dark bag of her hand,
another opportunity.
She looms tall as a church steeple.
She is holding the sun
in its vast pouch of space.