The Mammalian Response

Mammalian response








( I Kings 19:12 )

Warm blood is expensive and impatient.
Snakes swallow their prey whole and wait

Because they can, because their blood
Does not pipe and squawk for food

Like billions of baby birds whose jerking
Upturned mouths want it Now.  So chewing

Evolved from a rage to speed up
Digestion, to stoke faster a souped-up

Life that goes and goes like silver quickness,
Like flashing skate oblivious to the thicknesses

Demanded by the rules of ice.  No time now
To do much more than call to you, Go slow,

Slow, and don’t thrash hard if you should fall
Through.  If hope fades go cold and colder still

Until the brain remembers a lesson it learned
Watching fish long ago:  Get the heat turned

Down, cut expenses, shush the blood, so impatient,
Listen to that still small voice saying, Wait.  Wait.


—Richard R. Guzman


* This poem last appeared in A New Song.  Go to poetry and poetry commentary on this site.

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