was no consolation to the woman
whose husband was strung out on opioids.

Gone to a better place: useless and suspect intel
for the couple at their daughter’s funeral

though there are better places to be
than a freezing church in February, standing

before a casket with a princess motif. 
Some moments can’t be eased

and it’s no good offering clichés like stale
meat to a tiger with a taste for human suffering.

When I hear the word miracle I want to throw up
on a platter of deviled eggs. Everything happens

for a reason: more good tidings someone will try
to trepan your skull to insert. When fire

inhales your house, you don’t care what the haiku says
about seeing the rising moon. You want

an avalanche to bury you. You want to lie down
under a slab of snow, dumb as a jarred

sideshow embryo. What a circus.
The tents dismantled, the train moving on,

always moving, starting slow and gaining speed,
taking you where you never wanted to go.

Copyright © 2024 by Kim Addonizio. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 12, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

Hello Leander, tucked into cloth, tiny lion
who yawns through the virus and tear gas.
You are a new scent of heat.
Before any scar grazes your legs
I would show you the rows of bicycles
in burned colors, and whistles and cardinals
who pin the cold snow. You hold a small
share of what it means to be here.
When the air shatters around you,
gold and marine, please know you belong.
You are half sky, half butterfly net, alive
to friends and strangers, fast to net
and trust. There is nothing
that is not worth much. Arrayed
in overalls and tackle-box, you should grow
to see the deep green rains, the roads
brushing the clouds. To compass
all you have done from a porch in late life
and listen to the bees who, woolen
and undeterred, have returned. I hope
you stay warm inside the white dusk of
morning. No one stays unscathed
but you have days of summer to grow
into your thoughts and learn the great
caring tasks. You have yards of treelight
to race through under the birds’ low song-
swept radiances. The trills you hear
are glass grace. They are singing.

Copyright © 2024 by Joanna Klink. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 8, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

late spring wind sounds an ocean 
through new leaves. later the same 
wind sounds a tide. later still the dry 

sound of applause: leaves chapped 
falling, an ending. this is a process.
the ocean leaping out of ocean 

should be enough. the wind 
pushing the water out of itself;
the water catching the light

should be enough. I think this 
on the deck of one boat
then another. I think this 

in the Salish, thought it in Stellwagen
in the Pacific. the water leaping 
looks animal, looks open mouthed,

looks toothed and rolling;
the ocean an animal full 
of other animals.

what I am looking for doesn’t matter.
that I am looking doesn’t matter.
I exert no meaning.

a juvenile bald eagle eats 
a harbor seal’s placenta.
its head still brown. 

this is a process. the land 
jutting out, seals hauled out,
the white-headed eagles lurking 

ready to take their turn at what’s left.
the lone sea otter on its back,
toes flopped forward and curled;

Friday Harbor: the phone booth
the ghost snare of a gray whale’s call; 
an orca’s tooth in an orca’s skull

mounted inside the glass box. 
remains. this is a process. 
three river otters, two adults, a pup, 

roll like logs parallel to the shore. 
two doe, three fawns. a young buck 
stares, its antlers new, limned gold 

in sunset. then the wind again: 
a wave through leaves green 
with deep summer, the walnut’s 

green husk. we are alive in a green 
crashing world. soon winter. 
the boat forgotten. the oceans,

their leaping animal light, off screen.
past. future. this is a process. the eagles 
at the river’s edge cluster 

in the bare tree. they steal fish 
from ducks. they eat the hunter’s 
discards: offal and lead. the juveniles 

practice fighting, their feet tangle 
midair before loosing. this 
is a process. where they came from. 

for how long will they stay. 
that I am looking doesn’t matter. 
I will impose no meaning.

From You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World (Milkweed Editions, 2024), edited by Ada Limón. Copyright © 2024 Milkweed Editions and the Library of Congress. Used with the permission of the author. Published in Poem-a-Day on April 6, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.