The Murder Of Crows

The woods becoming filled with sick and dying crows,
the cities playing host to sickened, dying blue jays,
are harbingers warning us this nation is in the throes
of West Nile virus, soon to be famous for its deadly ways.

The fertile delta land of Louisiana leads this country,
reporting most cases, most deaths of this new fever,
which hints of storied days now past when one did see
fevers trim its population, not like a scalpel but a cleaver.

Not so great a killer as these, West Nile virus infects
the birds as natural hosts, is introduced by that vile insect
the mosquito into Man - annoying pest becomes lethal syringe.
Maybe for our having swatted so many of its kin, itís revenge!

Most infected people show no sign; others only mild aches
and fever. The unfortunate one of a hundred comes down
with encephalitis, the doomed one in a thousand dies, to make
West Nile Fever one of the milder viral fevers around.

It is spreading through the birds, throughout more of our land.
Every summer its area affected increases, the cases among us
become more numerous. Despite our best-made control plan
a new summertime disease is here to stay, the West Nile virus!



Harry Edward Gilleland      08.06.02