Lament of a Field Biologist by George Folkerts


My former choice collecting spots

Are shopping center parking lots

The meadow, once abuzz with bee,

Is still now, thanks to DDT.

Shades of Rachel Carson,

Whatever will become of me?


The glen where trilliums lolled in shade

And toadlets hopped, and chipmunks played,

In a watery grave has lain for years

Drowned by the Corps of Engineers.

My wild world is sinking fast,

Whatever will become of me?


The marsh, a haunt of coots and rails,

Where Typha waved and wagged its tails,

Succumbed to an ignominious fate,

It’s a cloverleaf on the Interstate.

Nature heaves a dying breath,

Whatever will become of me?


Clear birch-edged stream with fauna rank,

With iris blue upon your bank,

Your poisoned pools I now scan,

My seine haul yields one Falstaff can.

Everything I love is gone,

Whatever will become of me?


The fields are being, with great precision

Transformed into a subdivision,

The eagle falls, the lily dies,

And on the road a ‘possum lies.

No doubt what will become of me,

Molecular Biology.