All Species Day
For Emily Carr

Come to find
that on All Species Day,
we were the species
there to parade on two
legs in the likeness of beavers and bears.

For the love of planet this parade did not attract
the masses. Sure, there were a few dogs roving around,
a mastiff, a hound, a mutt. There were some masked children.
A car spit by, honking in support.

The first to arrive were the cranes.
Awkward teens on stilts,
sebaceous, wings not yet mastered,
tilting towards fall.

Almost too late, the condors
barreled up in an old pickup, packed tight and holding
on for precious life.
The driver, the bad-ass boy any decent mother would hate,

gracefully unfolded himself, stilts, mask and all.
Marlboro hooked on the perfect curl of
his lip. He floated into the crowd, and the cranes
gathered in the slipstream of his aloofness.

Then the fancy dancers
from some tribal affiliation
did the best they could with the water bottles we had
to thank the Mother in this time of drought.

No one was sure about the earthworm,
brown and wrapped, a six foot cone, a penis
But the very young boys giggled
with each punch and kick.

A short, fat man, dressed in white and
coordinating chicken hat,
raised a bugle to his lips,
called in forward momentum.

The whole mass, in our own time,
followed the pied-pipers ,
the Latino Drum
Corp, mesmerized by the beat of their salsa rhythm.

We slid and hopped and danced
our way down Guadeloupe Street,
picking up ants, snakes, a dolphin, a farmer with hay seed.
Anything that raised our awareness of its dying.

The route ended at the Farmer's Market
where the season had been too hot
for fresh produce. It was okay--
we were too busy dancing to notice

that once having taken costumes off--
all the species had been left behind.

Patricia L. Meek


Website copyright 2011 Patricia L. Meek
Photography by and copyright A. J. Meek