Weekly poem on Trump Presidency



Advice From Rock Creek Park


What will survive us
has already begun

Oak galls
Two termites’ curious
self-perpetuating bodies

Letting the light through the gaps

They lay out their allegiances
under the roots
of an overturned tree

Almost always better
to build than to wreck

You can build in a wreck

Under the roots
of an overturned tree

Consider the martin that hefts
herself over traffic cones

Consider her shadow
over parking-lot cement
Saran Wrap scrap in her beak

Nothing lasts
forever not even
the future we want

The President has never
owned the rain


Stephanie Burt is Professor of English at Harvard. She is the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism, most recently Advice from the Lights (Graywolf, 2017), where this poem first appeared.

“Advice from Rock Creek Park” from Advice from the Lights. Copyright © 2017 by Stephen Burt. Reproduced with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.


illustration:  anna_croc01

illustration: anna_croc01