Urban Fauna

by Kim Shuck 

You know how the deer on Market Street are 
With their stoplight eyes 
Picking their way down old runoff paths 
Past the disappearing relocated indigenous women 
The ravens are here to sing us visible 
Drumming on their collection of upended pots and Industrial buckets 
Don't you tell me how we've changed 
We were right there Near the department store 
Near the burial sites Singing to the ancestors 
This isn't an abstract gesture 
It's not a schoolroom exercise 
There are predators here 
And the maps of safe passage change every day 
And the wind comes up in the afternoon 
Don't you tell me how we've changed 
The roots of this hill have learned what to call us 
Just about 
Our clothes collected for the festival 
Our family members taken to who knows 
You might just sit down and listen for a change 
I'm not part of your curriculum 
We're a whole other thing 
Light reflecting off of the miles of glass 
How many feet deep was it? 
Can you hear the water like shattered windows 
Piled just like them 
Just there where the tall buildings lean like stealing 

© Kim Shuck. All rights reserved.

Kim Shuck is a complicated equation with an irrational answer. Shuck is the current and 7th poet laureate of San Francisco and will have a new book out from City Lights Press in the Fall. www.kimshuck.com

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