To the Quaker statue in Fairmount Park
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.