Leprosy of the field. Unwarranted ruin of sweet fruit
& cherry tomato. It is, at first, a denial – the slow growth,
the fungal encampment. Like people gathering on a street:
beware the pockets, the vests beneath the jackets.
Oh, unwarranted ruin, blight that never consulted you
before it licked the leaves of the plants you tend by hand.
If only you could take on the disease, the way a mother
wishes for her child to be relieved of sickness. Nearby,
a caterpillar cocoon has taken the veins of the plum tree.
You cut down the nest, set it on fire. You bury the dog
your brother loved as his own, having found her curled up
in the woods – no explanation. You kneel at the crabapples
overtaken by hail. It is overwhelming. Everyday, a calculated
loss. Everyday, a prophet severed from the world.
Hannah Larrabee is the author of Murmuration (forthcoming: Seven Kitchens Press), Sufjan (FLP 2017) and Virgo (FLP 2009). She was recently chosen by NASA to write poetry in celebration of the James Webb Space Telescope. The poems are now on display at Goddard Space Center. Hannah teaches writing and works for a technology company in Boston. www.hannahlarrabee.com