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).