—After Gerard Manley Hopkins
We praise the beautiful, the lovely, the kind. We love
those who love us back, that which pays homage
to our place in the universe. Red geraniums in clay
pots, razzle-dazzle sunsets, babies, the silence
of stars. We celebrate Holstein Heifers grazing
in green fields, rivers, rushing and strong,
little brooks babbling to the boulders as they trickle by.
We glory in pelicans and herons, the red-tailed hawk
and barn swallows and hold holy the salmon swimming
upstream to spawn and die. But how about the scorpion
skittering about the desert flexing its pinchers of steel?
The mountain-climbing goat with cloven hooves? The pot
in pieces scattered on the ground, flowers bruised and
broken? Are we at peace with the dung beetle pushing,
straining, to heft two hundred times its body weight?
With a bloat of hippos, bodies like barrels, teeth, long and
sharp, like pointed words. Do we consider wintery skies
and bullfrogs, the forgotten, the lost? Oh, the mickle joy
awaiting us in the fickle, the spare, the strange!