O Snail

      by Jane Hirshfield

Under the Svalbard ice cap, Carboniferous-era coal seams.
A good farmer rotates her crops.
The crops don’t complain. It’s the fate of stalks and forests to vanish.
Last year’s fires: Australia, Portugal, Greece. This: California.

O snail, wrote Issa, climb Fuji slowly, slowly.


From World Literature Today, Summer 2019. Also in Ledger, New York: Knopf, 2020, page 48 (as shown here).