An Abundance of Caution

by Lizzy Beck

copious prudence
a surging wave of vigilance
a veritable cornucopia of care

preceded by out of as in
derived from rather than lacking
rather than sold out rather than
the empty shelf of bleach the favorite brand
of tampons toilet paper and canned beans

compare with overabundance
of caution
meaning excess meaning
too profuse an exhortation
to take heed
meaning look children
up at the circling birds

the pretty bellies of the birds
of prey how many above
the playground an abundance
can we count to eight
a fat number more than the days
of the week therefore

an omen of plenty
but plenty of what

Lizzy Beck lives with her family in Western Massachusetts, where she teaches at a small boarding high school. Her work has appeared in Salt Hill, LEON Literary Review, and Harpur Palate. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Sally Lelong is a visual storyteller working in a variety of media that lend themselves to use in a conceptual framework. She lives and works in New York, and routinely exhibits her work in a variety of settings from print to thematic installations to street art.