I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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It does me no injury for my neighbor
to say there are twenty gods or no god.
— Thomas Jefferson
He set them around his yard like birdhouses
— small, painted boxes, all colors —
and that’s what I thought they were, at first.
He’s overdoing it, I said to myself,
though I like birds well enough.
He didn’t put seed in, as far as I could tell,
though I don’t spend all my time looking.
But last night there were candles
in all those whatever-they-ares,
and I saw him, my neighbor,
going from one to the next,
kneeling at each and chanting.