Author’s Note: “I was sitting by the dining room window when a little wren landed on it, not a foot away from me. The moment was beautiful and I felt as though I could commune with it. But the wren also got me to thinking about how human interactions with nature have become more disastrous as climate change impacts the Earth. We are all responsible for making the planet more and more uninhabitable, not just for ourselves, but for the creatures who also live here who have no control over what humans ruin. Our selfishness has privileged human life over animal life, and this poem acknowledges, at least to one bird, that one human is aware of her culpability.”
A speckled wren alights on the window frame edge.
It pecks at the glass, cocks its head in query.
aaaaaaaI think it asks, as it cocks its head in query,
aaaaaaaWhy do you spoil the Earth,
why do you kill? How we have despoiled the Earth:
polar ice slices like cake off glaciers into the ocean.
aaaaaaaGlaciers shrink and hurricanes churn the oceans,
aaaaaaaturn flood plains into floods. Coral bleaches.
Water so warm, whales can’t reproduce. Coral bleaching,
pelicans smeared with oil, dead fish floating,
algal blooms. Yes, I want to say, we are floating
death against you, little one, against all of you—
aaaaaaaBecause of us, the world is against you, all of you—
aaaaaaaeven this speckled wren on the window frame edge.
When she’s not writing, JC Reilly crochets or practices her Italian, and serves as the managing editor of the Atlanta Review. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in Santa Clara Review, Rougarou, Barely South, Pine Row, and others. Her southern gothic novel-in-verse, “What Magick May Not Alter,” was published by Madville Publishing (2020). Her blog: jcreilly.com
Delmarva Review publishes the most compelling new poetry, short stories, and nonfiction prose from thousands of submissions annually. Based in Talbot County, Maryland, the literary journal has featured the new writing of more than 500 authors worldwide during its 15-year history. Almost half are from the Chesapeake and Delmarva region. The journal is available in paperback and digital editions from Amazon.com and other booksellers. Support comes from tax-deductible contributions and a grant from Talbot Arts with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. Website: www.DelmarvaReview.org