The Body Politic

Allow us to introduce ourselves.

We are the people who dream

of ignoring road blocks and making

pariahs of all tomatoes.


Our intention is never to grieve

outside empty cages with

new packaging. In our eyes,

soft grass morphs into wind.


Now most of our barricades

look like painful roots of the past.

At least we know where dark-eyed

juncos join meetings with detectives.


Yes, it has been a very long, cold,

snowy night in the examining room

where we live. It’s high time

we lived on the moon, avoiding


drones and taking pride in our yards

of intimate struggle. We are outraged

that part of the common thread

slips past us. Our allies are slowly,


quietly backing away. Why don’t we

do something magnificent?

Let’s go to Mars and advance upon

a foundation of reckless growth.


Let’s create one final crack

in the solar system before winter

is upon us like a gray, disgusting truth.

Change happens, whether we look


at the divine or can’t save our season

of mushroom tea and sea dogs.

Our job is to welcome it. We are all

about to see spring wildflowers


turning into blazing badges of sadness

and ageless beauty. Maybe we’re ready

to let sleeping boats lie in stone monuments.

Let’s give it a shot. Working together,


we will do just fine. We’re all in this

together, with melted butter sticking

to our feet and hummingbirds

haunting us all with their young.

Cliff Saunders has an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Arizona. His poems have appeared recently in The Wayne Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, West Trade Review, Pinyon, San Pedro River Review, North of Oxford, and Cardinal Sins. He lives in Myrtle Beach, where he serves as co-coordinator of The Litchfield Tea & Poetry Series.