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KEEPING PROPER FOCUS

It was a child's microscope,
a droplet universe pressed under a wafer-thin cover slip.
And between that watery film a wonder was revealed,
how a world inches from him was yet so distant.
Water evaporated, molecule by molecule,
and the bubble contracted to crushing closeness,
as paramecia below were corralled into an ever closing circle.
They could hardly move, then they no longer tried.
They fired trichocysts into the vanishing water,
and those harpoons evidenced their collective calamity.
They all ruptured their cell-membranes,
a population reduced to burst balloons.
And the once ordered organelles within
floated into a chaos without
that belonged to all, that belonged to none.
That was the way he saw their world end,
without fire, without ice,
but as bone dry residue
on a child's junior scientist discovery slide.


  Richard Fein