Panes of color, edges like stained
glass, wisps of wildflowers growing in rubble
but pretty in the sun; feathered signatures
of minor creatures, their comings and goings
more subtle than many with more
proper names— I confess,
these were some of the lessons I taught
my own when they were young:
the moon swinging low over pine branches,
lake water glinting like mercury or granite,
flames crowning the ends of bushes along the path.
Did I set too much store by the tiger
swallowtail basking in the sun,
by the whiff of scent arising from beds
in the herb garden at dusk?
What use, what use in this hard-edged world?
Perhaps I fashioned paltry arms,
gave them words not strong enough to make
what they needed most come back—
The bird enters the cage.
Hands pass over it, then the red and gold
bandanna. You come back,
you have to come back.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.