October 04, 2007


Kangaroos, they say,
have the most efficient
water-conservation system.
You see them sip the dew
and know they’ll not waste good water
flushing out their kidneys.

From novel to short story
to poem
I now require to distil
in ever more concentrated form.

In this age of conservation,
will there be those who want
the sparse
pellets of uric acid
I now produce?
Or do they only wish
to study the precise calibre of hair,
the porosity of bone
the fox-scats
which yield
appetite and habitat?

Frugal of future life, too
the kangaroo always carries
a foetus
ready to grow or not
as conditions permit.
Like a poem.

—Helen Pavlin
originally appeared in "Collected Poems" in 1993.

Posted by dwaber at October 4, 2007 12:29 PM