Stephen Cushman


Take heart from the heifer Io became
and also the fountain née Arethusa.

Don’t forget Daphne, later a laurel,
or reeds that used to look like Syrinx.

If bad things don’t change, maybe you will
into red mangrove putting down roots

as thickets of stilts that suck up seawater
but send on salt to a few chosen leaves,

which filter you fresh, then yellow and drop
in tropical autumn back to warm ocean.