• Edwin M. Everham III

Novel Ecosystem

Some people would say it’s OK

to let the dogs

kill the lizards,

they are exotic.

As if anything was native

in my fenced, turf-grass

screened-lanai backyard.

If the dogs don’t eat

the lizards,

the lizards eat

all the spiders;

The beautiful, spiny-orb weavers

I brought from the mangroves,

to eat the flies and mosquitoes.

We put up a screen, to keep them out;

but we have a door

to the larger backyard,

and the bugs get in.

The flies are here because of the dog poop,

the mosquitoes because

of the rain.

Flies and mosquitoes feed

the birds;

rain and fly maggots feed

the flowers.

I am sitting in the lanai

to smell the flowers

and hear the birds.

Maybe I need more dogs, or

more spiders,

or no door,

or maybe no screen?

Do I need to learn to live with flies and mosquitoes,

to hear the flowers,

and smell the birds?