The Devil’s Workshop
by Kim Stafford, Oregon Poet Laureate, 2018-2020
To torture your neighbors, some devil said,
I give you my multi-tool that hits so many irritants at once:
it deafens workers so their ears ring, it kicks up killing dust to sicken children,
it spews more poisons to taint the sky in a mere half hour than a truck driving
from the Texas plains to Alaska, and all to hustle leaves from yard to bin.
Have you seen one such contraption chase a single leaf to pirouette
in the blue plume that’s killing us? Have you gritted your teeth
and hated the neighbor you recently enjoyed? Have you missed
your meditative hour with rake and rain, as you walked your way
from summer into fall? My friend, the bar is low. We can do better.