To the Quaker statue in Fairmount Park

July 19, 2018

Forgive me, Toleration. Your name is spare and taut.
Yours is no stance of abundance, but today

your ideal seems barely achievable.
Send me a tightrope across this ravine

so that I may toe my way over to you.
I walk to where the water pools, slowed by a bend

in the Wissahickon’s path. The surface shows me
an upside-down world where bare branches reach infinitely

root-ward toward the blue center of earth.
I do not believe in any monstrous god

whose will our predicaments are said to be.
I believe in the reality of rock

(call it divine presence, despite our depravity)
where pioneer plants eat at the schist

creating conditions for new life.
Create in me a stilled creek where

just below the surface, currents pulse
with inevitable movement toward open sea, eventually.