Gretchen Bartels-Ray is an associate professor of English at California Baptist University. She lives in San Diego.

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by Gretchen Bartels-Ray 03-23-2021
A poem.
An illustration of a gondolier going through a Venetian canal with dolphins jumping out.

Illustration by Alex Green / Folio Art

If we believe nature will mend,
it will replenish what has been taken and,
answering the wild call of urban space,

dolphins will return to Venetian canals,
elephants will drowsy dream in Chinese tea gardens,
humans will shed their fear and guilt to hope and taste

the terror of responsibility
the terroir of ourselves
the terra ignota of a paradise where