Tom Chandler

The Darwin Awards

Every day somebody drowns
in a damp hankie,
sneaks inside a safe to hide,
sticks a fork in the toaster,
touches up mascara
in the rearview mirror.

And still the reckless world rolls on,
set to see us fall, weaving gunshots
through the future, stringing cancer
from the tree limbs, building ever-sleeker
cars with weaker brakes.

But hearts continue their iambic rumble,
sparks crackle down a brain stem,
both lung’s trees in constant bloom,
each breath a defiance and
despite the color-coded warning,
the childproof cap, the lead-off story,
the surgeon general’s report,
the tire’s squeal and the sinister edge
of the radio voice, we persist in
being born without a crash helmet
a prayer or a poem.