why save our great salt lake

why save our great salt lake?

because rocks sing with life in her shallows 
because of bison
because of buoyancy
because of ten million birds
because her colors defy naming
and her shoreline defies tracing
because her earth print defies state lines 
because we will be lonely for the cries of gulls
and starved for the sight of flight   
we have desiccated other lakes 
every night we sleep in her bed
and each day we drink water melted from snow she makes 
because we are made of clay but more of water 
and we are born into just one body
because our lungs branch into tributaries
and stream into rivulets-
mercury and arsenic lurk in her basin
and we are as permeable to poison as the others
why save our great salt lake?
because she is irreplaceable  
because we can
because we must 
because her body lies between us
and the dust

© Nan Seymour 2021
This verse is Part 1 of the collective praise poem: irreplaceable