Poems by Taylor Brorby

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Pallid Sturgeon

by Taylor Brorby

From Canary Summer 2015

Taylor lives near the South Skunk watershed and, every now and again, catches glimpses of restored tallgrass prairie.

You are the armored tank of the prairie
a letter from the dinosaurs.
Sliding in silt you sift your way to the riverbed
hunker down, slurp roots and minnows
through your vacuum mouth.
Five rows of plates plank your side and back
creating a 70-million-year seal of safety
until now, oil swirling in the eddies of rivers, 
gateway to extinction.

Your black eyes gazing into tomorrow,
you warm with the whiteness of old age
a century of certainty behind you,
swim through the maelstrom,
to the end of compassion
your certain demise.

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