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For My Daughter

By Michelle Regalado Deatrick

When I sweat in a Midwest January
      and wish to God it was a hot flash but know
it's greenhouse gasses--read the news:
      Uranium seas rained on by iodine skies--
Sunday drives, see the Kalamazoo shimmer
      spills of bitumen, kills of brown trout,
dioxin wells irrigate the emerald fields,
      farmhouses where fracking flames
flow from kitchen taps--I think of you then, grown
      old long after I'm gone, and wonder what you'll remember--
that day last September, cold apples
      and clear water, the still-sweet grass, and the paper
plates, the plastic cups, how we threw away
      the whole green and generous world
                                          and left you there.

Added: Wednesday, July 9, 2014  /  Originally appeared in subTerrain's "Our Dying Planet" print issue (#63, Winter, 2013) and was a Finalist for the 2013 Split This Rock contest. Used with permission.
Michelle Regalado Deatrick

Michelle Regalado Deatrick was the Winner of the 2012 Chautauqua Poetry Contest; her residencies include Ragdale, VCCA, and MacDowell. Her work appears in the American Literary Review, subTerrain, Best New American Voices, and elsewhere. An advocate for environmental justice and small farm rights, Michelle lives on an eighty-acre farm and native prairie. She teaches poetry workshops for the University of Michigan's Lifelong Learning Institute. Her blog, Word Garden, focuses on the environment, farming, native prairies and writing:

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