she tried to kick them out--
flooded their homes,
burned the forests and wooden structures
to the ground,
pulled up their foundations
and flung them into the sky
with fierce winds
and violent tornadoes.
she raised the waves up
from the ocean floors
and tried to wash the stain off.
she vomited up the plastic garbage
onto the shores,
sent them the swollen bellied whales and birds
who'd died from a diet of plastic
bags and fishing lines and bottles.
she shook her head
to try to shake them out of her hair.
she had even spewed forth
fiery lava from her lower depths
to burn away the blight
that now covered her.
and still they were relentless.
and still they hurt her.
and the fires ate many of them
and the winds tossed many of them to their deaths
and the waters drowned many more,
but still they were relentless.
so she sent a plague
that they would breathe in
that would take the oldest first,
that would take the most vulnerable
already struggling to continue on.
she sent a virus.
she had read war of the worlds
and knew even the martians
could be felled by something
as small as a germ, a cold,
and she smiled to think
that they had given her the very plan
that spelled their demise.
a few of my things
there were things i held close to my heart,
things very few others also cherished
or even knew about then.
my nina simone album, the poems
of langston hughes, the painting in the met
the apple tree outside my bedroom window,
the swans who sailed by in summer
in the little stream
in my childhood bedroom, i placed
some mexican jumping beans
with other treasures in a small wooden box
and placed the box inside the sliding door
on one side of the headboard.
once, a kind grown-up expressed interest in the contents
of my hidden box — i must have confided to her--
and she looked at every item with my eyes, in joy.
i wish i could remember her name.
my friends from school (elementary,
high school, and college)
are still in my heart, and i in theirs,
even though we live far from each other.
i am glad i still remember their names,
each one of them a bright coin
in a crystal box tucked behind a small sliding door.
ryki zuckerman is a co-editor of Earth's Daughters magazine, a feminist literary periodical (now in its 49th year of publication), and author of the gone artists (Nixes Mate Press, 2019), the skirt at the center of the universe (The Writer's Den, 2018), Three Poems (University of Buffalo Poetry Collection, 2017), a bright nowhere (Foothills Publishing, 2015), the nothing that is (Benevolent Bird Press, 2015), and her full length collection, Looking for Bora Bora (Saddle Road Press, 2013). Her poems have been published in Paterson Poetry Review, Lips, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, and elsewhere, as well as in artvoice, Buffalo News, and in the anthologies Water (Beatlick Press) and A Celebration of Western New York Poets (Buffalo Legacy Press).
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.