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How to contemplate climate change when you have two kids under age 4


Listen to Hoa Nguyen read “No Sleep” from her collection, “Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008.” When Nguyen wrote the poem, she had two young children (hence the title), and she was reading about how climate change affects certain species and weather patterns.

No Sleep

No sleep             no sleep escape
Milk raining down
turning lilies white

Mena presided over moon-blood
Her offerings: young puppies
that still sucked their mother

Formaldehyde in the sheets
to be wrinkle-free

April 2006             5X the average in tornadoes
and thriving poison ivy

The sky turns green

Old Roger has died and gone to his grave
gone to his grave             gone to his grave
Old Roger has died and gone to his grave
Hiegh ho           gone to his grave

“Several ice-sheets in Greenland
have doubled their rate of slide”

My boy blows a plastic whistle (parrot-shaped)
             stamped                Made in China

Hoa NguyenHoa Nguyen is the author of eight poetry books and chapbooks. “Red Juice” is Nguyen’s fourth full-length books of poetry. Her other works are “As Long As Trees Last,” “Hecate Lochia” and “Your Ancient See Through.” Her poetry has also been collected in nine anthologies, including “The Volta Book of Poets,” “Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose,” “The Best of Fence” and “Not for Mothers Only.” Nguyen studied poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she teaches at Ryerson University and in private workshops.

“No Sleep” from “Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008.” Copyright 2015 by Hoa Nguyen. Reprinted with permission of the author and Wave Books.

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