Bill Glose, one poem

September 1, 2017

Evolution of a Good Idea


You want to know why, so I’ll start

at the beginning, when cosmic dust


coalesced in the great void. If a planet-sized

object had not struck Earth and cleaved


from its mantle a chunk of mass to spin

in its orbit, the moon would not exist,


nor tides or plate tectonics.

One percent closer to the Sun, water


would have vaporized, Earth’s surface

would have never transformed from molten stew


to our congenial clime. Slightly farther out,

she’d be an icy rock. If land’s merging


into Pangea had not made competition

in decreasing coastal habitats unbearable,


fish might never have sprouted legs

and learned to walk. If the Chicxulub meteor


had not extinguished dinosaur’s

200-million year reign, mammals


would never have risen up, surviving

drought, disease, and countless other calamities


long enough for forbears to pass along

their genetic imperative. If only one


of ten-million-billion things were different,

I would not exist. And so, when you ask


why I’m packing up my things, the answer

is simple: too much effort


has gone into creating me

to waste one more minute on you.


Bill Glose is a former paratrooper and author of three poetry collections, including Half a Man, whose poems arise from his experiences as a combat platoon leader in the Gulf War. After serving in the Army, he worked in paper factories in Chicago and Massachusetts before returning to Virginia. Wanting to reconnect with his home state, he walked 1,500 miles through every region of Virginia and wrote about his experiences for magazines. In 2011, he was named the Daily Press Poet Laureate. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Narrative Magazine, Poet Lore, Atlanta Review and Southern California Review.

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