Our natural enemy
Is not that beast that tears at limbs
Overwhelming with claw and fang.
But the daintiest of assassins, barely felt
Atomistic flying syringe
Weightless and exquisitely designed
Spreading its vector of sorrow village to village
Juneau to Soweto to Pyongyang
Bed, clinic, grave
Reducing us, mighty and beloved of God
To feverish wraiths from time before Eden.
Why, just God, did You ammend
A perfectly good creation
Must not every creature serve some good?
Vultures, no beauties, nobly dispose of disease.
Even lowly mold became a cure.
But why, if You loved your very own children, this?
“My calamity is my providence;
Outwardly it is fire and vengeance,
But inwardly it is light and mercy.”
And then dawns the realization:
All of this, each brick and circuit of civilization
Owes its existence to this vile pest, our mortal enemy,
The apex predator of the world.
For what else could have caused the primal ancestor
To sweet-talk Prometheus?
To glean that twirling an ash bough on a cedar hearth
Would start a fire
The heat and smoke of which
Would drive them away?
What better than them
To have made us
Forsake the field–