Brown paper, string once bundled cheese, now Styrofoam
with transparent wrap, time warp between. No repeat.
I smell hums of air conditioned to make the market swell
with tinkered tomatoes, counters of steroid meat.
O what can we say of strangeness in the mind of man,
inscrutable thing, straining to make do with random finds?
Consider this: swans and gannets, their longing
to be left alone, like you and me wringing thin fingers
remembering how, in former days of remote caves,
we were a rescinded thing, laborious hunt and gather,
hand to mouth at first--then cow milk, sheep wool,
water to the kettle, horse to the bridle and plow
'til now--with umbrella, ear plugs and Kindle,
obsessive attraction to bed sheets white
as amnesia for what was before: us and the planet-and
what will be better after the warp we don't know,
though our minds grind on, finding ways to survive:
vegetable in tissue paper, pink synthetic tomato.