"april with friends - vol iii" is a continuing poetry chapbook project for National Poetry Month 2023. Friends were invited to submit a topic and have a poem written for them based on their request. Signed copies are available for $10.00 which includes postage. Email me to order.

it's the little things
	for Emily Hilbert

the microscopic things to be precise
that neither think nor feel nor love nor hate
but in that unthinking existance can rise
a tidal wave of generational multiplication
driven only by coded genes to reproduce

what began as a scouting party, easily spotted
easily engulfed, is followed by a full scale invasion
of fertile territory. rivers, islands, mainland's bulk
sanctuary of lung cells overrun, an entire army's
garbage dumped into every empty space
thick, tenacious slime expanding into places
meant for airflow, for oxygen, for the breath of life
that keeps us all alive another day.

what then, with defenses breached, overwhelmed
can be done except to send in the elite guard
each soldier as small as those who invade, but
armed with specialized weaponry, stealth capability
directive: "search and destroy any who bear this mark"
cellular receptors identified, disrupted, disabled

until with the demise of the enemy, the host begins
the painfully slow process of cleansing, rebuilding
restoring airways clogged with debris. skin color
shifting from a muted, deathly gray to neutral,
to full normal hue. fear of imminent death gone
she turns her head and coughs, coughs again
grateful, as always, for the little things