The pups came early,
teased into life by warming air,
suckled, drowsed, began to grow,
on a cushion of discordant noise.
Held beneath their mothers' wings,
dark fruit inhabiting a forest edge.
Trees protect the co!ony with shade,
above moist quilts of fallen leaves
cooling on the hottest days.
The fruit bats thrive
until their roosts are stripped of leaves.
Sharp claws expose bare branches to the sun.
Another day of intense heat
without a sheltering canopy, hot air rising
from hard ground below.
They cannot breathe, trapped in furled wings
the colony falls like ripened pears
with babies on their teats.