Speciation for the New Millennium

In  by January 28, 2022
E veryone was thrilled at the radon building up
in the cellars, slowly staining our children’s skins 
until they shimmered and radiated and shone.
“Look what a healthy glow they have,” we cried. “Besides, 
it makes it easier to tuck them in at night.”

And few minded more arsenic in the water 
even after our children grew fat poison sacs
and spat venom at us if we sent them to bed
without any supper. “It’s a tough world,” we said.
“Better than mace. They just need to learn some restraint.”

And no one said anything when the power plants
pumped out more CO2 and our children budded,
sprouting little leaves and curled vines in their hair.
“Photosynthesis is a useful trade,” we mused.
“Make no mistake. Besides, they look so cute in green.”

And we just smiled when the pondering slowness of 
global warming melted the poles and our children
opened their new gills and withdrew beneath the waves.
“It’s always sad to see them leave home,” we sighed. 
“Even when we worked so hard to bring them up right.”

Copyright © 2002 Jon Hansen

Feature image credit:

Depositphotos

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Jon Hansen

Jon Hansen (he/his) is a writer, former librarian, and occasional blood donor. He lives about fifty feet from Boston with his wife, son, and three pushy cats. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in a variety of places, including Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Quarterly. Like many these days, he's working on a novel, when not spending too much time on Twitter. He likes tea and cheese.

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