That’s Why

So that’s why fizzy drinks hiss
     as the foam peaks.
So that’s why a boy’s heart grows
     twice its size in puberty.
So that’s why the birch gives off
    through its 200,000 leaves
          900 gallons of water a day.
So that’s why one paramecium in a drop
     committed suicide because
          it wasn’t recognized as great
     by other paramecia in the drop.
That’s why 100 railroad cars
     of shorn girls’ and women’s hair
          from concentration camps
     headed to doll factories.
That’s why ½ of factoryworkers worldwide
     are younger than 12.
That’s why cutbacks in the warhead industry
     looming on the horizon
          are unrealistic.
That’s why vultures eat the eyes first.
That’s why cougars eat the heart and liver first.
That’s why the grizzlies eat the brains first.
That’s why soldiers cut off the ears of dead enemies
     as souvenirs to show their girlfriends back home.
So that’s why 99% of all babies’ first words are—“Mother.”
So that’s why a Blue Whale has more cells in its body
     than all the people who ever lived.
So that’s why Death sends no one’s corpse back
     as unpublishable.
That’s why in the countdown to millennia
     it's good to remember
          from the Moon the Earth looks so small
     astronauts discovered
          they could blot it out
     by holding up
          their thumb.

—Antler, Milwaukee, WI