Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What Squirrel Teach the City

The poetry of a city
compacts and intensifies
what we contemplate in
forest, stream, and wilderness.

The human animal figures
more prominently in urban settings--
a beast of wild capacities
and transcendent grace.

That carrion and rodent
and an occasional coyote or deer
persist amongst our density
brings wonder and hope.

That they put up with us,
make the high-risk effort
to bear with our strident civility,
is a sign that we may yet be saved.

Few though they may be,
their presence startles us,
endears us, reminds us,
subtly reorients us to life.

From our sanitized windowed perches
they beckon to us that we are not alone,
that we are late on this scene,
that we are but a part--not the center.

All it takes is a squirrel or two--
a hawk nesting on a high rise,
a deer wandering a city street--
to reset reality, restore sanity.

John Franklin Hay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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