Lemmings don’t want to die when they jump
from a costumed rock above the sea.
Their bodies are Mayflowers
that sometimes reach the other shore.
When their home overpopulates
and winter kills the cabbages
and we eat the last war rations,
some faction wants a new world.
Those who make it
pick up foreign words
and learn to frown like tundra owls.
They follow the birds who know
which hemisphere is wounded
and which is festive with oranges.
But when the world alters
and the sun grows udders
of darkness, leaking swamps
on every harvest—
some lemmings will break off from the panic
and steal the severed palms of men
as ships to cross the blushing ocean.
In addition to Delmarva Review, Ivy Grimes’s writing has been published in Salt Hill, Weave, WomenArts Quarterly, Eclectica, Cimarron Review, and other literary publications. She has an M.F.A. from University of Alabama. For more of her writing, please visit www.ivyivyivyivy.com.
Delmarva Review is a national literary journal with local roots. In it’s eleventh year, the nonprofit publication is supported by individual contributions, sales, and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. For information and print copies, visit: www.delmarvareview.com.