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 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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