Koan #3: Oil Spill on the Des Plaines

65,000 gallons on land.

“The oil spill has been contained,”

an official-sounding man from Caterpillar

chirped brightly on NPR’s morning newscast.

No more wildlife will be affected —

beyond the ones already touched.

6,000 gallons of oil

sludged into the Des Plaines River.

How many blue gills?

How many herons?

How many egrets?

How many frogs?

How many salamanders and newts?

How many beavers, raccoons, button bushes?

No need to worry, officials assure us.

It was already an Industrial Zone anyway.