The survival of the piping plovers offers an . . . argument
for the . . . importance of the Endangered Species Act
—Chicago Sun-Times, August 13, 2019
Plover chick, we’re here on this city beach guarding you
dawn to dusk these peak days of summer, a ragtag flock
of giddy birders telling your story to passersby who
can’t get enough of you (we love their oohs and ahs).
Today, you’re all business at the big lake’s shore
away from dad and sibling who rest in the nearby grasses.
I watch you skirt the surf, picking up grub in the sand,
trying your wings before the tug of the long trip south.
A photo time-stamps you—that fierce little eye
of yours!—captures your shadow, precise as the one
I cast on the sand, the one saying I’m here now under a sun
that finds me worthy of comment. Plover chick, the sun
finds us both singular—alive and curious as we are—
endangered as we all are under its wide and dwindling eye.