There are No Words for This, But a Poet Has to Try

 

 

How can a jig
Encapsulate life?
Two measures tear me up,
Tighten my throat
Capsize my heart so it floats upside down in my chest,
Rudder aloft and sails under water.

It starts with the swallowtails, of course,
Dipping and diving for insects on the wing
Clamoring in caves
Wooing and brooding.

They fly through a park.
Diving kites mimic the birds, drawing my mind toward a
Flipped edge of skirt and its
Recipient, playing cool on a bench
Sending back a one-sided grin of
Paired hope and disdain.

Children nearby whose folks started
Parenting on nothing much more
Chatter and call through the playground
Already practicing their lives as they’ve been taught.

One chides, one hides and cries,
One bawls so much the others decide to ignore him,
Except the quiet girl who knows what it means to cry alone.
These other two girls juggle a soccer ball with their feet,
That boy tribe steals it and learn some girls aren’t afraid to hit.
One mom praises, the other derides.

A set of five, who will live and die at each other’s sides,
Dig cities in the moist sand, idly daydreaming,
Sharing a high mileage box of slightly gritty caramel corn.

Beneath them blades of grass bend,
Cells vigorous with
Life. Their roots extend into the earth, which
Teems with worms, beetles, mites, fungi,
Bacteria.

My mind tries to grasp each life,
Expanding into the trees, the creek, the air.
Each biome on every scale is a festival of entities,
Pulsing with lives grand and pitiable,
Lucky and cursed,
Long and bitterly short.

Twisting in this infinity,
My heart capsizes.
The Fiddler puts down her bow.

2 thoughts on “There are No Words for This, But a Poet Has to Try

  1. Laurel: You bring the playground to life so vividly! The art of seeing!

    This stanza so strong. Thank you.
    One chides, one hides and cries,
    One bawls so much the others decide to ignore him,
    Except the quiet girl who knows what it means to cry alone.
    These other two girls juggle a soccer ball with their feet,
    That boy tribe steals it and learn some girls aren’t afraid to hit.
    One mom praises, the other derides.

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