Nancy J. Wiegel

Darwin Back In England

There were iguanas again on the roof last night,

hundreds of them, all Galapagos-size,

all piled full-length on top of each other like gargoyles.

Socorro! Socorro!, they seemed to be crying aloud.

But their mouths were closed. And their eyes stared ahead

as if mesmerized by some ancient vision or memory.

We knelt under the eaves, watching their breathing.

There was no moon, but the light from our bodies

was enough to see them by, and for them to see us.

All night neither reptile nor human stirred. Then, this morning—

a scratching of scales against masonry, downspout, and grass,

as the sun, crawling upward, took its ritual place on the shingles.

We heard that leaving. But dared not tremble or follow.

The house we live in groans with a star’s full weight.

We shall die all day, pinned under its belly.