Instead of Bad News about a Person I Love
I got a letter through the post decreeing my sainthood.
Beatified, I sat down, because this was big news for me.
Bless the television, bless this chair of four wooden legs.
I felt like calling my parents, but thought, in a saintly way,
to do so would be immodest, so instead I opened the curtains.
Rain was washing everything that seemed in need of washing.
A bird landed on a bush and shook water from its wings
and I closed my eyes briefly, acknowledging its small,
hardworking soul, like a microchip destined for heaven.
The cat came in, little devil, and I forgave her, touching
under her chin, sweet child. We watched the news together
and reflected that this was how the world churns
its butter of beginnings and endings in front of the sun.
What good, I wondered laterally, might befall an ancient
tree today? Perhaps merely nothing much. Perhaps a tree
will carry on just as it was. What minerals will develop
unseen in the earth, deep beneath a human tragedy?
Some minerals. Some salty, bright minerals in the dark.
I spent that morning cutting white paper into triangles.
I spent that afternoon staring at my bits, enamored.
I spent that evening clapping loudly in the garden,
and come bedtime I was ready to write my long email
to the President of the United States of America.