Catherine McGuire

I dreamt I wore a label
that listed my nutritional value
my usefulness to community
how much energy I consumed.
It gave notice of required maintenance
how I should be stored
and my expiration date.
Marked Do Not Remove
Under Penalty Of Law, it told
of my composition, hazards,
explained how the heart could give out,
the veins harden, get clogged.
It referred to a user manual
(now lost) and warned that misuse
could shorten the lifespan of this product.
Such handy data, clear, concise –
fooling any user into believing
that was all there was.


Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep concern for our planet’s future. She has five decades of published poetry, five poetry chapbooks, a full-length poetry book, Elegy for the 21st Century, a SF novel, Lifeline and book of short stories, The Dream Hunt and Other Tales. She was interviewed about her poetry for a podcast of Revue Revolution. ( Find her at