Poems of the Week

Mirror Image

by Alex Steelsmith

“Media have framed the manatee die-off as an environmental wake-up call…
‘People keep talking about manatees being the canary in the coal mine.
But by the time this canary dies, all the miners are already long gone’…
[M]anatee deaths aren’t a signal of forthcoming disaster; their losses are the disaster…”
—National Geographic

Warningly, mourningly,
Florida’s manatees
sound the alarm as their
numbers abate.

Species cohabitate
manatees mirror hu-
manity’s fate.