The Brownies scramble past me in the park,
A swirl of laughter like a sudden wind,
& one holds up a whirlybird, then darts
& cries out “Seed!” the others closing in.
Pencils! Pencils! They all fall down.
Their bellies flat, their laughter spent, they mark
Their books & scramble on, & I am left behind
To wonder if these scramblings are a part
Of why these seeds have wings, or how the thin
Green seeds that burrow under ground can start
Becoming roots & bark & limbs.
I marvel that before the first trees sprung
A rhythm burst from space we can’t explain.
& when I watch the Brownies twirl among
The reeling notes of birds & play their games
Of turning over rocks to find out snails,
I marvel that the rhythm still prevails.
But then I pause. Aren’t I too old to wonder
At such things? I know that life sucks life
And so sucks mine. What are these Brownies wandering
Through the park to me? Redundant seed.
Noisy children fresh from their mothers’ breasts,
Shadows of their wombs. My own heart,
Knowing only that it with time must cease,
Makes me content to let these questions be.
Originally published in A Matter of Mind, Foothills Publishing, 2004.
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