Three questions

October 25, 2016


Along the Beaver Creek,
lobelia clings to the soil,
foiling its every effort
to sneak into the stream,
which riffles over rocks below,
aerating the water that fuels
the wetland where a dragonfly
squints its blue, bulbous eyes,
spying mosquitoes mating,
then steers its body
to reach their next move.  
Do you dare, while traipsing
this trail and glancing
milkweed blossoms,
to covet anything
your neighbor may have?


Six months later,
and a mile away,
on a lime-dusted field,
a singular tree,
its leaves shorn
and humming in wind
somewhere south,
            Winter will bear
a crop of snow,
which will deepen
with the season
and wrap around
the stoic oak. No one
will amble by for months.
Driving by, will you
sing your praise
purely from the road’s
safe distance?


In between, where there is so much time,
when inspiration won’t spread its wings
and raise its crimson head,

when nothing but mud dominates
the wetland, when tarnished tin
is the only color the sky can muster,

what then? Will you savor the age-old scent
of the now-and-not-yet, sense its tension
in the toppled tree, damp and fungus festooned,

as you take each successive step?