the world is dancing.
Two squirrels high in the treetops
leap nimbly between branches,
unafraid to fall.
A ribbon of weather-bleached caution tape
flutters gleefully in the breeze.
At my feet, morning sun glints on the diamond shard
of someone’s discarded revelry.
I watch the river’s rush,
and feel my face crooked,
caught between joy and pain.
I’ve slipped on rocks before
and hesitate now,
unable to step as blithely.
Still, an eagle drifts
easily to his perch,
and the little laughing streams
call to me between pebbled shoals.
So I pick my way down to the water’s edge
its ceaseless flow and
the endlessness of it all.
The mornings when I am astounded
by the dearest freshness of things,
and those when I wake half-asleep,
secretly, simply exhausted
by constant change.
It’s a dance I can’t keep up with.
Honestly, I wonder,
how can we dance at all
when so much is wrong?
The river’s roar all but drowns
my thoughts as I watch
reflected light play on a stone,
revealing its hidden aliveness.
The sun warms my back, slow,
and a cautious joy rises inside.
Of course it is only as I turn
to leave the water and the woods
that gratitude and love
I can’t help but love
these soaring trees
and their fallen friends,
the unseen birds bravely trilling
another morning’s song,
and the dozen silhouetted crows
gathered at the somber summit
of a single still-leafless tree.
If the world,
knowing its sorrow,
how can I not