If you have a secret
keep it
Let us slow our feet
as we leave driving
to another day
Let us discover the colors
in the eyes
of a neighbor
Watch a stellar jay
fight 2 sparrows
as she adds grass to her nest
If you plan a body count
don’t let it spill
Let us count our seconds as unearned gifts
wrapped in the spilled paint of sunrise
and an evening’s dusky stretch
If you have an expiration date
don’t write it on our calendars
as we learn
To cook our meals slowly
and linger at the wooden table
If you have a mission
keep it to yourself
as we silence the buzzing jars
That wake us
allowing our bodies to
teach us their rhythm
Let us discover
smaller sheets of toilet paper
and closer letters
in our last notebooks
Fill our Pilot fountain pens
rather than tossing another
empty cartridge
If you’ve come to change us
let the soot-less air inhale a welcome
as oil wells slow their
frantic bowing
Let the children stalk black
and amber caterpillars
and the winter fur of cattails
Rather than sit straight in plastic chairs
longing for the Spring air

– Valerie A. Szarek

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