“Row, row, row… ”
-Sophia, age one
For years it couldn’t be found.
Some it never finds.
Now like rust on the garlic
or the end of summer it’s gathering.
A girl with her grandmother’s eyes
repeats a nursery rhyme.
Whether joy is lost or the person, who knows.
The rest of us get up each morning, & row.
An old stump the ants had their way with nearly drove me off
a stone cliff when it barreled through elderberry
it used to feed with its brothers that still breathe.
All through the night it fell, the green from the leaves,
& the leaves themselves. She woke me to a black bear
swatting at salmonberries. In the senescence
of your last spring, there are rules no one made.
These things I cup in my palms & pour
into the ecstatic blue hand of sky mirrored in the lake.
Out of Nothing & Fire
Except for the first single-celled organism
preposterously long ago, firecracker snapped
from a vast nothing, the earth is mulch & rot.
She was our pilgrim, that first cell, gone ahead again.
You and I stand in a hall smoking, wondering
why she bothered. Why all the fuss out of nothing & fire.