Pauper’s Grave

The land coughs black bile.

The soil shits oily sewage.

The prairie that once flickered with excitement is now listless and gray.

The only sounds are monotones.

Everyone here stares at someplace else.

The land has a fever.

Its temperature is sky high.

A sign of the times.

They tried to save the river with science.

Then the river took a urine test.

Chronic wasting disease, West Nile virus, cancer.

The river laid down and died without anyone knowing its past.

The authorities hurriedly buried it in a pauper’s grave.

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