Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
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We can see, if we care to look, that the way we treat children — all of them, not just our own, and especially those in great need — defines the shape of the world we’ll wake up in tomorrow.
How can I find a way to praise / it? Do the early inventors & embracers / churn with regret?
We have memorized America, / how it was born and who we have been and where. / In ceremonies and silence we say the words, / telling the stories, singing the old songs. / We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
Call next door, ask / neighbors on the west if they can spare / any wine, and suddenly a jarful comes / across the fence — fresh, unfiltered. We / open mats beside Meandering River’s / long currents, crystalline winds arrive, / and you’re startled it’s already autumn.
Life has always been as hard as the soles of my father’s feet. Like the callused hand my face melts into. He holds it like the cantaloupe before a fruit salad. Like life before America. Before it’s sliced, devoured, consumed.
An oyster leads a dreadful but exciting life. Indeed, his chance to live at all is slim, and if he should survive the arrows of his own outrageous fortune and in the two weeks of his carefree youth find a clean smooth place to fix on, the years afterwards are full of stress, passion, and danger.
The sea of people looked like a great heartbroken circus, wild living art, motley and stylish, old and young, lots of Buddhists, people from unions and churches and temples, punks and rabbis and aging hippies and nuns and veterans — God, I love the Democratic Party — strewn together on the asphalt lawn of Market Street.
At dusk, everything blurs and softens. / From here out over the long valley, / the fields and hills pull up / the first slight sheets of evening, / as, over the next hour, / heavier, darker ones will follow.
I am not so sure it is “we” who look back. The commemorating imagination seems to come alive on its own. We are not the sole instigators of remembering; memory seems to push itself on us.
A certain brother went to Abbot Moses and asked him for a good word. And the elder said to him: Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.