Just Walk Away...
The mite harvestman, a daddy longlegs
found in 400 million-year-old fossils,
has wandered across several continents
without so much as a swim. A conundrum
if it weren’t for plate tectonics,
a notion only realized in 1911
when a scientist matched up fossils
on either side of the Atlantic.
I think about this discovery and try to tease out a simile
but really it’s better just to leave
the first land animals alone. The shifting
and colliding and breaking apart alone.
The drifting. The sadness—
that marks the opening of a quest
only to discover estrangement.
Reversal is overdue: the last change
of polar fields
occurred when man was carving stone into weapons.
We know the earth’s fluid core
of molten iron
emerges in a lava flow
as infinite tiny compasses
drawing South as a new North;
we know the random flip
depresses honeybees, Zambian mole rats,
homing pigeons, salmon, whales, frogs, newts,
bacteria, and crops. We know the collapsing field
sends polar aurorasflaring to the equator.
We know it confuses baby loggerhead turtles
on their 8,000-mile swim around the Atlantic
using magnetic clues to check bearings.
Can you do something to save love
before much in the heavens and Earth go askew?
I wouldn’t know—
except, where I mean to make sense of rocky memories,
to continue text-messaging through the static.