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

Race, Class, Health

U.S. health progress is badly faltering because of racial, social, and economic disparities, according to many public-health specialists, both in the academy and in Washington, D.C. Proponents of this view ...
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

Politics & Policy

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 ...

Most Popular

Elections

Bernie’s Huge Victory

Bernie had a massive night in Nevada, with a diverse nomination-winning-type coalition. According to the entrance poll, he won whites and Hispanics and did well among blacks. He won men and women. He won college graduates and did particularly well with non-college graduates. He won Democrats and independents. ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Huge Victory

Bernie had a massive night in Nevada, with a diverse nomination-winning-type coalition. According to the entrance poll, he won whites and Hispanics and did well among blacks. He won men and women. He won college graduates and did particularly well with non-college graduates. He won Democrats and independents. ... Read More
Elections

Bernie Sanders Is a Moral Monster

Bernie Sanders complains that some criticism of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is “unfair.” The Castro government lined up political dissidents and shot them. It tortured them. It weaponized the medical profession to torture and deform its critics. Its campaign of murder was extraordinary, its ... Read More
Elections

Bernie Sanders Is a Moral Monster

Bernie Sanders complains that some criticism of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is “unfair.” The Castro government lined up political dissidents and shot them. It tortured them. It weaponized the medical profession to torture and deform its critics. Its campaign of murder was extraordinary, its ... Read More

Escape from Wuhan

The onset of the crisis in Wuhan startled me like a jump scare in a horror movie. You’ve seen the kind I mean. The audience is led to believe that the monster, psycho killer—or what have you—pursuing the intended victim is still distant. Then whatever it is stands up from behind, leaps out in front, bursts ... Read More

Escape from Wuhan

The onset of the crisis in Wuhan startled me like a jump scare in a horror movie. You’ve seen the kind I mean. The audience is led to believe that the monster, psycho killer—or what have you—pursuing the intended victim is still distant. Then whatever it is stands up from behind, leaps out in front, bursts ... Read More