Have you ever stood so still
That you could hear the world breathing?
Have you stepped so softly through the woods
That you were startled by a crackle
As a wasp munched leaves to papier mâché?
Have you ever watched so closely
That you saw a hoverfly yaw,
As on an invisible string,
A perfect one-eighty, meeting
Your gaze with twin dimpled prisms,
Compound eyes scouring your mind.
Have you ever felt the wisdom of children
Who see a Nashville warbler fall to the ground,
Yellow neck snapped by a window strike,
And think clearly enough to give it a name,
So that they circle and say together
“Rest in peace, Sunflower” when it’s buried?
If a bird is worth such a prayer
And each insect deserves a poem,
Is every man who ever lived
And every woman now on earth
An epic, a novel, a ballad,
Waiting only for attention and a pen?
Image: Hearts-a-bustin, Hamilton County, Tenn., October 2020.