Hard cases

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1.
I crouch beside the fire ring with hands outstretched,
doggedly seeking warmth from its circle of snow.

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2.
As the snowpack melts, little dark targets
appear on the laurel leaves.
I call it the coal pox.
Power plants a hundred miles to the west
seed the clouds with nitric & sulfuric acid.
The rain burns & the snow burns, too.
The soil turns toxic with heavy metals.

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3.
A feral housecat walks a crooked mile through the woods,
sidestepping the patches of old snow.
Long after she passes, a squirrel continues to scold,
his tail on the branch behind him like a furious mime
or a question mark come quivering to life.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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