by Janet Kenny

The thought that leapt into my head
when I was told of nuclear war
was: All grasshoppers will be dead.

And then it was as if I saw
their jigsaw, zigzag, tensile limbs
meccano-jointed, ready for

Olympic heights in leafy gyms.
Darwinian prodigies that spring
in arcs as freedom’s metonyms

for absolutely anything
unfettered where the will finds ways
to levitate somehow, to cling

on any apex where its gaze
looks further to more distant peaks.
And so the seeker never stays,

but leaves the stage to one who speaks
for those articulations lost
to grounded military cliques

who hate, and hurl their one riposte.
Annihilation, endless night,
to win the fight, despite the cost.

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