Magazine | December 21, 2015, Issue

Poetry

ENTITLED WILDLIFE

I’ve fought my way to easier days –

So others should who find life hard.

So why are there, beneath my gaze,

So many single mothers in my yard?

They even carp when I approach

Their feeders with a brimming scoop.

Is this some temple that I broach,

Flicking away their caking poop?

Then there are those who lollop past

My weeding labors to the patch

Of heirloom strawberries, and cast

Their nibbled discards in the thatch

I’ve tucked below the tender shoots

That dream of peaches; there they pause

To drill the soil and taste the roots

And pluck the bark with eager claws.

Five or six babies each, and who

Hears of the father, after that?

Nothing I say to them gets through,

Though I compare them to my cat –

Never in trouble — or a horse,

Who works. They only care about

Each other — and themselves, of course:

Pneumatic beak, hydraulic snout!

These creatures of the fields and air

Are more my burdens day by day,

The layabouts for whom I care.

Whose garden is it anyway?

 

Sarah Ruden’s most recent work is a translation of Augustine’s Confessions.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

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Politics & Policy

The Spratly Showdown

Obama-administration officials have been busy patting themselves on the back for what happened on October 27 in the South China Sea. There, the Arleigh Burke–class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen passed ...

Features

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G.I. JAG

The car was moving at high speed. It had just broken a blockade of American and Iraqi forces and was trying to escape into the gathering dusk. American soldiers, driving ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letter

An Embracing America I loved “Civil-Rights Republicanism” by Theodore R. Johnson (November 2). I’m an immigrant. I believe that America is so great that it can embrace us wanna-be Americans and ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

 ‐ President Obama insisted that gathering in Paris to eat canapés and chat about the weather in the wake of the horrific Islamic State attack on that city constitutes a ...
Athwart

Of Carbon and Capricorn

Survey says: Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe in pseudo-science that they think affects their lives directly but really has no bearing whatsoever. But enough about climate change. Turns ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

ENTITLED WILDLIFE I’ve fought my way to easier days – So others should who find life hard. So why are there, beneath my gaze, So many single mothers in my yard? They even carp when ...
Happy Warrior

Apropos Appropriation

If there’s one thing American moviegoers want to see in their campy computer-generated Hollywood blockbusters, it’s ethnically authentic actors. Or so I imagine. Because of an unhealthy obsession with the ancient ...

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White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More