… if you’re lost enough to find yourself …
–Robert Frost, “Directive”
Before we knew pollution was a word,
we played beneath yellow skies. Down the road
belching stacks didn’t seem troubling.
Nor did the miracles of DDT,
plastic bottles and bags, or gas-guzzlers
testifying to our white picket dreams.
We snubbed the signs in hurricanes, fires
and droughts. Discounted leaded paint and pipes.
Muted the whimpering of bees. Ignorance
had a way of keeping closed eyes tight. Now
decades almost-too-late, we gasp at miscues,
at the arrogance that hurled us toward
the brink. Enough, we shout in churches,
meeting halls and schools. And if enough
should lead to find, we’ll beg to recalibrate.
We’ll celebrate each mizzling morning
when blue nibbles through unwrinkled gray
so mountains can come out. We’ll bless each stream
that braids its way to and from its ocean home
and embrace each tree that holds our rootedness.
We’ll pray that sheaves of poetry will rise
from rewilding fields where monkeys romp
with elephants, lions with antelope.
If Earth accepts our belated reverence,
we’ll find our way to a new paradise.
By day we’ll dance—waggishly naked and wild—
through orchards, forests and fields of daffodils.
By night we’ll fly across the sky like free-
floating rogues searching for a sibling star.