Ark — By Janet Jenkins-Stotts

Does and fawns swan with impunity

from lawn to lawn, foxes with their kits

saunter down alleys, no longer afraid of us

and our over-bred dogs. Pumas appear

in California suburbs, and coyotes howl

in the canyons of New York.


If we appear, they trot a few feet, then

turn to stare. Some refuse to leave a juicy

bag of garbage and dare us to take back

what once was ours. Impatient with our

meager leavings, will they begin to feed

on helpless homeless, sleeping on cardboard?


Meanwhile, deep in unnamed forests, new

plagues mutate from beast to man, a rear

guard action to revenge the lost habitats.

Will they evolve in time to prevent us

from destroying Eden, as we throw pennies

at dying species or jail them in our zoos?

~ Janet Jenkins-Stotts

Janet Jenkins-Stotts’ poems have been published in Kansas Voices, Konza Journal, River City Voices, Dash, Passager, and the Swedish underground journal, Devote. She lives in Topeka, KS. with her husband and their min-pin, Romeo.

Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.

Editor’s Note: Recently, an animal has been rummaging around on my deck. It isn’t on the ground floor, and there are no stairs, so I assume that it climbs one of the vertical wooden beams to get up to it. I know the woods behind our house is full of animals, but most of them, like the one going through my stuff, I never actually get to see. Janet’s poem makes me feel like there’s a hidden world all around that nobody seems to be keeping tabs on. Maybe someone should?


2 thoughts on “Ark — By Janet Jenkins-Stotts

  1. Thanks for publishing The Ark. It is one of my children I thought might go homeless. Jan Stotts

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